JOTTINGS

• The last time the Vikings made the playoffs in at least three out of four seasons was their stretch of five consecutive playoff appearances from 1996 to 2000 under Dennis Green. That stretch featured two NFC Championship Game appearances.

 

• The Bears haven’t won in Minnesota since the final game of the 2011 season, 17-13 on Jan. 1, 2012. That loss gave the Vikings a 3-13 record in Leslie Frazier’s first full season as coach. That remains tied for the worst record in franchise history with the 1984 team coached by Les Steckel.

 

• U.S. Bank Stadium’s capacity of 66,655 ranks 23rd in the NFL, but the Vikings’ average of 99.9 percent of seats sold ranks 11th in the league and second in the NFC North behind only the Bears.

 

• The first NFL mock draft by ESPN had the Vikings selecting 6-5, 325-pound Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown. Expert Todd McShay wrote: “Getting a prospect like this at No. 22 would be robbery. Brown is the type of pass-rushing tackle that Mike Zimmer loves, and Sheldon Richardson’s one-year deal provides an opening in the interior of that Minnesota line.”

 

• With a lack of fans attending Gophers football games at TCF Bank Stadium, expect the athletic department to announce some cheaper ticket packages to fill up those seats for next season.

 

• Members of the Gophers athletic department who had a chance to meet future University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel in a very brief visit were very impressed. Gabel, in her fourth year as the University of South Carolina provost, has a reputation of being a big sports fan.

 

• Seattle has been awarded an NHL expansion team that will begin play in the 2021-22 season. Former Wild President Tod Leiweke, billionaire investment banker David Bonderman and film and TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer lead the team’s ownership group.