Brett Favre is expecting to start, but after looking at his numbers this season, you have to wonder if that's a good thing. We go stats-heavy in looking at the rankings for the Vikings and Patriots.
It's looking more and more like, barring a setback during warmups prior to today's game with the Patriots, Brett Favre
will make his 292nd straight start at quarterback.
His recuperative powers are legendary, but this one is going to be an issue. Two broken bones in a foot doesn't sound like the kind of thing a quarterback can play with, but Favre has become the Paul Bunyan of his position and there is little that can keep him off the field.
Favre reportedly told ESPN's Ed Werder that he was expecting to start, which, if he doesn't, could bring a lot of fallout down on Brad Childress as being the guy who stopped the streak.
It might not be out of the realm of possibility for the Vikings to try to out-think the Patriots and give Tarvaris Jackson
a series or two or have a short hook with Favre if he struggles.
Who would think that a Hall of Famer with two decades of experience would have short leash? If he struggles early, don't be shocked to see the streak continue, but not necessarily his streak of taking meaningful snaps.
VIKINGS-PATRIOTS BY THE NUMBERS
The Vikings have the 20th-ranked offense in the league (seventh rushing, 24th passing) and the sixth-ranked defense (11th rushing, 13th passing).
The Patriots have the 19th-ranked offense (14th rushing, 17th passing) and the 29th ranked defense (ninth rushing, 30th passing).
The Patriots average 325 yards a game on offense (213.8 passing, 111.2 rushing). The Vikings offense averages 318.5 yards a game (182.3 passing, 136.2 rushing).
Defensively, the Vikings have averaged 308.3 yards a game to opponents (209.2 passing, 99.2 rushing). The Patriots have allowed 379.7 yards a game (282 passing, 97.7 rushing).
Tom Brady is eighth in the league in interceptions-per-pass percentage. Brett Favre is 32nd.
The Patriots offense is third in the league in third-down offense, converting 33 of 73 chances (45.2 percent). The Vikings are 12th, making good on 32 of 79 chances (40.5 percent). The league average is 38.3 percent.
The defenses are a different story. The Vikings' third-down defense is 19th, allowing opponent to make good on 31 of 79 chances (39.3 percent) . The Patriots are dead last at 32nd, allowing an amazing 48.8 percent (41 of 84) – 10.5 percent above the league average.
The Patriots are tied for fifth in giveaway/takeaway ratio at plus-6 (12 takeaways, six giveaways. The Vikings are tied for 27th at minus-6 (nine takeaways, 15 giveaways).
The Patriots are 16th in the red zone, scoring touchdowns on 13 of 25 chances (52 percent). The Vikings are tied for 18th at 50 percent – eight TDs in 16 possessions.
Defensively, the Vikings are tied for 13th, allowing eight touchdowns in 17 red zone possessions (47.1 percent). The Pats have been much more generous at 58.8 percent (10 touchdowns on 17 possessions).
The Patriots are one of just two defenses that have allowed points every time an opponent has gotten inside the red zone, allowing 10 TDs and seven field goals in 17 possessions. The only other team is Baltimore.
Thanks to strong return games, somewhat provided by squib kicks to the Vikings, the Vikes and Patriots are at the top for average starting position. The league average following a kickoff is the 26.3-yard line. The Patriots top the league with an average start of the 32.6-yard line. The Vikings are third with an average at the 31.8-yard line.
Neither Favre nor Brady has a 300-yard passing game this season.
The Vikings have yet to allow a 300-yard passer. The Pats have done it three times.
Tight end Aaron Hernandez of the Patriots is the only player for either team with a 100-yard receiving day. The Vikings have allowed one 100-yard receiver, while New England has allowed three.
The Patriots have yet to have a 100-yard rusher. Adrian Peterson has done it three times.
Neither team has allowed a 100-yard rusher this season.
Brady is the fifth-rated passer in the league at 96.0. Favre is 32nd with a rating of 68.0.
Of those with enough passes to qualify, Favre is ahead of only Derek Anderson, Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen.
Favre's dismal passer rating is almost as bad in the fourth quarter (68.9) and worse on third downs (60.0). Brady has a rating of 85.5 in the fourth quarter and 101.2 on third downs.
Adrian Peterson trails only the Giants' Ahmad Bradshaw for rushing yards – a deficit of 24 yards. Considering Bradshaw is on his bye week, A.P. should easily pass him. BenJarvus Green-Ellis leads the Patriots with 259 rushing yards, good for just 35th place.
Wes Welker is tied for 14th with 37 receptions. Percy Harvin's 25 is good enough to tie for 50th place.
Stephen Gostkowski is ninth among kickers with 51 points. Ryan Longwell is 32nd with 27 points.
Peterson's 828 yards from scrimmage trails only Frank Gore, who has 914 yards, but will be on bye next week after playing today in London.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.