NFL Football

33
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Minnesota 3 9 11 10 33
Cleveland 6 7 3 0 16
16
6:30 AM PT7:30 AM MT8:30 AM CT9:30 AM ET13:30 GMT21:30 6:30 AM MST8:30 AM EST8:30 AM CT17:30 UAE9:30 ETNaN:� , October 29, 2017
Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham,   Weather: 56°, Partly Cloudy  Attendance: 74,237

Winless Browns take on Vikings in London

According to STATS
According to STATS

Minnesota Vikings at Cleveland Browns

  1. The Vikings extended their winning streak to three games in Week 7, defeating the Baltimore Ravens, 24-16. The Vikings' defense held their fourth straight opponent under 170 net passing yards, the team's longest such streak since an eight-game stretch during the 1990 season.
  2. The Cleveland Browns fell to the Tennessee Titans 12-9 (OT) in Week 7 -- the first regular season game with seven field goals and zero touchdowns since October 27, 2002, when Tampa Bay beat Carolina 12-9. The Browns have now opened 0-7 in two consecutive seasons, and for the fourth time in franchise history.
  3. These teams are meeting for the 15th time. Cleveland won the last meeting in Week 3 of 2013 (31-27), but overall the Browns have a 4-10 record versus the Vikings all-time. Minnesota has played in London once previously ("hosting" and defeating Pittsburgh 34-27 in 2013 at London's Wembley Stadium), while the Browns are making their regular-season international debut.
  4. The Browns have the NFL's youngest active roster (24 years, 284 days), and have posted the NFL's second-best defensive improvement when measured in yards allowed per game (allowing 87.7 fewer yards in 2017 than 2016). Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer (second round selection 2017 NFL Draft) has struggled in his first NFL season; his 52.0 completion percentage, 47.8 passer rating and 11 interceptions are all NFL worsts among qualifiers.
  5. Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen has 43 receptions and 529 receiving yards -- both the most for any player this season without a touchdown catch. Thielen, however, also has at least five receptions in each of the team's first seven games to open the season, the longest such streak in Vikings history.
  6. Everson Griffen has a sack in all seven games to open 2017. With one in this contest, Griffen will join Robert Mathis (2008) and Dwight Freeney (2009) as just the third player to record a sack in his team's first eight games of a season all-time (since 1982).
Team Comparison

Minnesota
 
Cleveland
20.9 Points 14.7
243.4 Pass Yds 229.0
124.6 Rush Yds 92.3
8 Takeaways 8

The Cleveland Browns have had no success in North America this season, so maybe their luck can change on a different continent.

The Browns will play a regular-season game in London for the first time in franchise history when they oppose the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at Twickenham Stadium.

Both the Vikings and Browns are on a roll, but they are rolling in opposite directions.

The Vikings (5-2) have won three straight games and are in first place in the NFC North.

The Browns (0-7) are last in the AFC North. They led only once, 7-3 over the Jets in the fifth game, and that advantage lasted only 5:06 before New York moved ahead for good.

"We have to keep pushing and keep getting this group better," Browns coach Hue Jackson said. "That's just where we are. I'm not going to run from that. We work at it every week, but obviously, we're not getting it through like we need to. Nobody in this locker room is hanging their head. We're going to keep fighting and keep getting better."

The Vikings and the Browns both have a bye next week. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer does not want his players thinking about vacation a week early. He is emphasizing they should not take Cleveland lightly despite the Browns' woeful record.

"I think our team will believe that (the Browns) are a good team," Zimmer said. "Really, they're not that far away. They're really good on defense. They just turn the ball over offensively.

"It's going to be about us and how we play, and that's usually how it is every single week. Do we prepare the same way? Did we play at the same intensity? Do we play as a smart football team -- understand the things we have to do to beat this particular team? And I think that's the points of emphasis that we'll be making this week."

Both teams are hoping key players will return from injuries. Browns starting cornerback Jason McCourty (ankle) and safety Jabrill Peppers (toe) missed last week's game against the Tennessee Titans. Both missed practice Wednesday, but they are "making progress," Jackson said.

Cleveland rookie defensive end Myles Garrett is in the concussion protocol. The Browns have not ruled him out for the game with the Vikings.

Browns defensive tackle Trevon Coley (neck) and defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi (groin) also missed practice.

Wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who leads Minnesota with four touchdown catches, is expected to return, Zimmer said. Diggs was limited in practice Wednesday due to a groin injury.

Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford again missed practice Wednesday with a knee injury. The Browns are preparing for Case Keenum, Cleveland linebacker Christian Kirksey said.

Minnesota tackle Riley Reiff (knee), guard Jeremiah Sirles (knee) and defensive end Stephen Weatherly (knee) also missed practice.

The Vikings have ridden a stingy defense to the top of their division. No opponent has scored 20 points on them since the Pittsburgh Steelers thumped them 26-9 in Week 2.

Vikings right defensive end Everson Griffen has been a huge part of that success with nine sacks in just seven games.

"First of all, Everson is a great person, a tough competitor," Zimmer said. "He's going to give you a full day's work. He has power, strength and speed. He has excellent hands, excellent get off. Here we kind of work on sacks as a team, and Everson is getting them this year."

Protecting quarterback DeShone Kizer from Griffen would be challenge enough for the Browns if Joe Thomas were still in the lineup, but he isn't. The 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle is on injured reserve recovering from surgery to repair a torn left triceps.

Spencer Drango, a fifth-round draft choice in 2016, will start at left tackle, which means he will have to deal with Griffen.

Drango practiced as a backup until now, which means he worked at a variety of positions each week. This is the first time he has been able to work at one position.

"I just go out there and do my best, stay calm and play as hard as I can for the guys around me," Drango said. "I'm excited, nervous, all of them. I think it is good to be nervous. Even Joe told us he still got nervous before games. You have to embrace it and use that as fuel."

Jackson said the Browns have contingency plans to help Drango block Griffen. Matt Lengel, a blocking tight end, was elevated from the practice squad on Wednesday to fill the roster spot vacated when Thomas was placed on IR.

Updated October 25, 2017

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