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Buccaneers vs. Vikings 2012: Game preview, kickoff time, TV schedule and more

Minnesota takes its hot start to prime time against Tampa Bay.

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Tampa Bay's schedule has done it no favors this year, and it doesn't get any easier on Thursday. With a short week of preparation, the Buccaneers will head to Minnesota.

What awaits them is a Vikings team that has been one of the biggest surprises in the NFL this season. Minnesota has jumped out to a 5-2 record behind a stellar defense that has allowed 14 points or less in its last four wins.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay is coming off of yet another game that it could have won. All four of the Buccaneers losses have come by seven points or less, including last week's 35-28 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

The matchup to watch will be Adrian Peterson against Tampa Bay's third ranked rush defense that is giving up 76 yards per game.

Thursday's game will be the only prime time game for Tampa Bay.

Game time: 8:20 p.m. ET

TV: NFL Network

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.