By the numbers: Can A.P. resume production?

Adrian Peterson believes he can continue his production when he returns to the league. He’ll turn 30 during the offseason. Plus, get the rankings and stats between the Vikings and Jets.

For running backs, hitting the age of 30 is often viewed as a death sentence. History has shown that production drops significantly when a running back turns 30, but Adrian Peterson has been no ordinary running back during his illustrious NFL career.

Peterson turns 30 in March but believes that, whether it’s with the Vikings or somebody else, he has plenty of good football left in his career.

In an interview with USA Today, Peterson said he believes 30 is just a number and not indicative of a reduction in his production moving forward.

“I believe I’m just now here in my prime,” Peterson said. “I believe these next five or six years – or however long I decide to play – it’s going to be the same production and I’m going to do even better than I did before in my 20s.”

Whether Vikings fans find out whether that prediction is true firsthand or from a distance is still very much up in the air. The Vikings organization has distanced itself from Peterson since the charges of child abuse derailed his 2014 season. He is still under contract with the Vikings, but his salary for 2015 is $13 million – a steep price to pay for a running back in an era when talented backs are available after the first round of the draft every year.

Many of the same self-professed experts who are predicting a significant decline in Peterson’s play over the next few years are the ones who said he couldn’t return to the elite play he had prior to tearing his ACL in 2011. All he did was rush for 2,097 yards and fall just eight short of the all-time single-season rushing record.

If any running back can be dominant in his 30s, it’s Peterson. It would be a shame to see one of the best running backs in the history of the game and clearly the best running back of his era leave to continue his career elsewhere. Just like Randy Moss and Brett Favre spoiled Vikings fans by showing how an elite player at his position can change the fortunes of a franchise, Minnesota has been spoiled since 2007 by having the best player at his position lining up in the backfield.

Just as Hall of Fame quarterbacks are rarely immediately replaced by a player who goes on to rival his success – Steve Young and Aaron Rodgers withstanding – when a franchise running back or wide receiver of epic status goes away, there is a void that is left. We’ve seen that this year without No. 28 lining up seven yards deep.

Peterson might be able to remain one of the top, if not the top, running backs in the league for the next year or two and live up to his recent prediction, just as he did coming back from ACL surgery. The biggest question now is whether at least a portion of those five or six years is with the Vikings?


  • The Vikings have the 30th-ranked offense (13th rushing, 30th passing) and the 10th-ranked defense (24th rushing, 6th passing).

  • The Jets have the 29th-ranked offense (2nd rushing, 32nd passing) and the 7th-ranked defense (3rd rushing, 13th passing).

  • The Jets are 30th or worse five offensive statistical categories – passing yards (32nd), yards per play (31st), passing average per play (32nd), sacks allowed per pass play (30th) and points scored (32nd).

  • Minnesota is averaging 301 yards a game (186 passing, 115 rushing). New York is averaging 312 yards a game (164 passing, 148 rushing).

  • The Vikings are allowing 343 yards a game (219 passing, 124 rushing). The Jets are allowing 322 yards a game (237 passing, 85 rushing).

  • The Vikings are 15th in giveaway/takeaway ratio at plus-1 (14 giveaways, 15 takeaways). The Jets are 31st at minus-12 (20 giveaways, 8 takeaways).

  • The Jets are tied with Oakland for the fewest takeaways in the league this year.

  • New York is 22nd in offensive third-down conversions, making good on 70 of 177 chances (39.5 percent). The Vikings are 27th at 35.4 percent (57 of 161). The league average is 40.8 percent.

  • Minnesota is 18th in defense on third down, allowing conversions on 67 of 161 chances (41.6 percent). The Jets are 31st at 46.7 percent (77 of 165).

  • The Vikings are fourth in average starting position after kickoffs with an average start at the 24.3-yard line. The Jets are seventh with an average start at the 23.3-yard line. The league average start is at the 21.7-yard line.

  • Minnesota is eighth in opponent’s averaging starting position following kickoffs at the 20.7-yard line. New York is 10th, allowing an average start at the 21-yard line.

  • Starting quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Geno Smith each have one 300-yard passing game his season.

  • The Jets have allowed two 300-yard passers. The Vikings have allowed one.

  • Both teams have just one 100-yard receiver this season – Jarius Wright for the Vikings and Percy Harvin for the Jets.

  • New York has allowed seven 100-yard receivers. The Vikings have allowed three.

  • Minnesota has three 100-yard rushing games – two from Jerick McKinnon and one from Cordarrelle Patterson. New York has two – both from Chris Ivory.

  • Bridgewater is 27th in pass attempts (283), 27th in completions (173), 25th in completion percentage (61.1), 27th in yards (1,827), 32nd in average per pass play (6.46 yards), tied for 30th in TD passes (8), 10th in interceptions (7) and 28th in passer rating (79.0).

  • Smith is 28th in attempts (258), 28th in completions (148), 32nd in completion percentage (57.4), 31st in yards (1,524), 33rd in average per pass play (5.91 yards), tied for 33rd in TD passes (7), tied for 26th in interceptions (11) and 34th in passer rating (65.8).

  • Bridgewater is 20th in fourth-quarter passer rating (87.0). Smith is 34th with a rating of 68.2.

  • Bridgewater is 17th in third-down passer rating (87.3). Smith is 22nd with a rating of 80.4.

  • Ivory is 17th in rushing yards with 641. McKinnon leads the Vikings with 538, which ranks him 24th.

  • Eric Decker leads New York with 49 receptions, which ties him for 44th place in the league. Greg Jennings leads the Vikings with 45 receptions, which ties him for 55th place.

  • Jennings leads the Vikings with 546 receiving yards, which places him 60th in the league. Decker leads the Jets with 531 yards, which ranks him 63rd.

  • Matt Asiata is tied for 22nd in scoring among non-kickers with 44 points (seven touchdowns and one 2-point conversion). Ivory is tied for 46th with 30 points (five touchdowns).

  • Blair Walsh is 18th among scoring for kickers with 83 points. Nick Folk is 24th with 76 points.

  • Walsh is tied for 11th in touchbacks with 38. Folk is 30th with 18.

  • New York’s Ryan Quigley is 13th in punting average at 45.8 yards. Jeff Locke is 26th at 43.9 yards.

  • Quigley is ninth in net punting average at 40.6 yards. Locke is 23rd at 38.5 yards.

  • Marcus Sherels in 10th in the league in punt return average at 9.5 yards. The Jets don’t have a player with enough returns to qualify for the league lead.

  • Patterson is seventh in the league in kickoff return average at 25.5 yards. Harvin is 12th with a 23.7-yard average.

  • Harrison Smith is tied for third in interceptions with four. The Jets have just four interceptions as a team.

  • Everson Griffen is seventh in the league with 11 sacks. No Jet has five sacks this season.

  • Anthony Barr is tied for second in defensive fumble recoveries with three.

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