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Scouting Report: Chargers at Vikings

The San Diego Chargers head to Minnesota for the first ever game at the brand new U.S. Bank Stadium.  Kickoff against the Vikings is set for 10:00am PT and will be broadcast nationally on FOX.

A Look Back At Last Week

The Bolts took home their first victory of the preseason behind a smothering defensive effort, defeating the Arizona Cardinals 19-3.  Brandon Flowers scored the lone touchdown of the game with a 25-yard pick six, while Jahleel Addae added another interception he returned to the nine-yard line to set up one of four Josh Lambo field goals.

What to Watch For…

On Offense for the Chargers

With the third preseason game often referred to as a dress rehearsal, Philip Rivers and the starting offense should see their most extensive work of the preseason.  The lone drive of the year so far ended with a 44-yard touchdown catch-and-run by Melvin Gordon against Tennessee. Expect hostile conditions for the Bolts offense to work in with the Vikings at home for the first time this year in a brand new stadium.

On Offense for the Vikings

Adrian Peterson has not gotten a carry in the preseason, so expect to see a lot of Jerick McKinnon, Matt Asiata and C.J. Ham. Shaun Hill and Joel Stave should see the brunt of the work at quarterback, and they’ll look to establish a rapport with first-round draft pick Laquon Treadwell.  The wide receiver out of Ole Miss has caught four passes in two games for 41 yards.

On Defense for the Chargers

Former Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner enters his third year as Minnesota’s offensive coordinator, meaning the Bolts will have to be ready for a steady diet of the run and deep shots down field.  Nick Dzubnar has led the defense in tackles each of the first two games and has 14 in the preseason thus far.  The Chargers will look to bring more heat on the QB after registering four sacks through two games.

On Defense for the Vikings

Pro Bowlers Everson Griffen and Anthony Barr lead a dangerous front seven that wreaks havoc on opposing quarterbacks.  In the secondary, keep an eye on cornerback Mackensie Alexander.  The second round draft pick out of Clemson has totaled nine tackles and two passes defensed through two games.

Series History

The Chargers and Vikings have met 14 times in the preseason, most recently in 2012 when San Diego won 12-10.  

By the Numbers

In 2015, the Chargers ranked ninth in total offense (371.8 yards per game), fourth in passing (286.9 ypg), 31st in rushing (84.9 ypg) and 26th in points (24.6). The Vikings ranked 29th total offense (321.2 ypg), 31st in passing (183.0 ypg), fourth in rushing (138.2 ypg) and 16th in points (22.8)

Defensively, the Bolts ranked 20th in total defense (361.9 ypg), 14th in passing (321.2 ypg), 27th in rushing (125.3 ypg) and 21st in points allowed (24.9).  Minnesota ranked 13th in total defense (344.2 ypg), 12th in passing (234.9 ypg), 17th in rushing (109.2 ypg) and fifth in points allowed (18.9).

Noteworthy vs. the Vikings

In 2003, Antonio Gates caught the first touchdown pass of his NFL career in a game against the Vikings. The pass was thrown by Doug Flutie.

Keenan Allen had 12 catches for 133 yards and a career-high-tying two touchdowns last season against Minnesota.

Kellen Clemens posted a single-game-high 83.3% completion percentage and 150.0 passer rating for the Chargers in that same game last September.

Playing for Green Bay in 2015, James Jones had a pair of 100-yard games against the Vikings. On Nov. 22 at Minnesota, he had 109 yards and a touchdown and on Jan. 3 he had 102 yards in the Packers’ season finale.

Connections

Chargers defensive tackle Bruce Gaston spent time with Minnesota this offseason.

Wide receiver Javontee Herndon’s brother, Tray, played wide receiver at the University of Minnesota in 2007.

Defensive tackle Damion Square’s uncle, Robert Miller, played for the Vikings.

Chargers Offensive Line Coach Jeff Davidson joined the Chargers this year from Minnesota where he coached the offensive line from 2011-15.

Pro Scout Regis Eller was an intern linebackers coach for the Vikings in 2005. Eller’s father, Carl, played 15 seasons of his Hall of Fame career on the Vikings’ defensive line.

National Scout Tom McConnaughey spent time with the Vikings as a wide receiver in 1985.

Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner was the Chargers’ offensive coordinator in 2001 and the team’s head coach from 2007-12. Turner posted a 56-40 regular-season record and 3-3 postseason record in six seasons.

Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer is the son of former Chargers Special Teams Coach, Chuck Priefer.

Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Jeff Hurd was the head strength coach for the Chargers under Turner from 200712.

Vikings quarterback Brad Sorensen was a seventh-round pick by the Chargers in 2013. He spent time with the Bolts from 2013-15.

Tackle Jeremiah Sirles played for the Chargers in 2014. The Bolts traded Sirles to the Vikings in 2015.

Guard-tackle Mike Harris played for the Bolts from 2012-13.

Broadcast Information

FOX SPORTS (Fox 5 in San Diego and Fox 11 in Los Angeles and Orange County) – Kevin Burkhardt (play-by-play), John Lynch (analyst) and Pam Oliver (reporter)

Rock 105.3 FM, XTRA Sports 1360 (San Diego) and AM 570 KLAC (Los Angeles & Orange County) – Josh Lewin (play-by-play) and Nick Hardwick (analyst)

Spanish Radio –XHFG 107.3 (San Diego)– Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Tony Alvarez (analyst)

All Chargers radio broadcasts are now being streamed live on the team’s official website, www.chargers.com. XTRA Sports 1360 Broadcasts with Josh Lewin (play-by-play) and Nick Hardwick (analyst) will begin two hours before kickoff and continue for 90 minutes of postgame coverage.

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