By the numbers: A.P.’s big-play lawsuit

Adrian Peterson’s biggest play could be in the court of law instead of the field of play. Plus, get the stats and ranking between the Vikings and Lions.

In an extended interview with Ben Goessling of, Adrian Peterson mentioned that he has contemplated retirement, unfortunately adding that he has made $8 million this year by being on the Commissioner’s Exempt List – apparently killing the notion that he might donate an endorsed game check to child charities.

It was also mentioned in the story that Peterson is planning to sue the NFL. That could well end up being the biggest story that has ever hit the collective bargaining landscape.

When somebody slips on a wet Wal-Mart floor, lawyers determine the earning potential of the litigant and come up with a number.

What’s the number on Peterson?

If the NFL opts to base its defense of a potential Peterson lawsuit on the charges that were brought – and settled on misdemeanor convictions that brought no jail time – even their best lawyers could struggled to run the gauntlet of “peers” that would be on that jury.

As Texans are known to say, the bottom line is that Peterson has, by Texas law, paid his punishment. He’s free and clear as far as the legal system of the United States is concerned as long as there are no repeat offenses.

What will be in question is whether the NFL had some overcorrection of a changing policy concerning domestic abuse.

Seeing as Roger Goodell is currently the judge, jury and appointed a confidante as appeals officer for the decision to maintain Peterson’s suspension, a Hall of Famer-caliber player like Peterson, who, if he retires, can claim he was forced to walk away from nine-figure income between potential salary and endorsement deals.

If a case makes it to court – ironically, it could end up in a Minnesota federal court because of the jurisdictional precedent Minnesota has from the USFL anti-trust court case – the NFL will say Peterson didn’t even know the punishment terms when apply the switch to his son, making their changing of the personal conduct policy midstream moot.

Peterson may be right when he says he’s contemplating retirement from the NFL. Rusty Hardin could be put into action again to try to win a mammoth verdict against the NFL.

Whether Peterson ever plays another down for the Vikings (or anybody else) or not, it looks like he will be taken care of financially. In the NFL, he may be done (although his competitive spirit may say otherwise). Given the circumstances, he may see the biggest payday of his life through the court system.


  • The Vikings have the 28th-ranked offense in the league (13th rushing, 30th passing) and the 12th-ranked defense (23rd rushing, 6th passing).

  • The Lions have the 16th-ranked offense (29th rushing, 9th passing) and the 2nd-ranked defense (1st rushing, 10th passing).

  • On offense, Detroit is averaging 349 yards a game (265 passing, 84 rushing). Minnesota is averaging 309 yards a game (195 passing, 114 rushing).

  • Defensively, the Lions are allowing 296 yards a game (233 passing, 63 rushing). The Vikings are allowing 348 yards a game (221 passing, 127 rushing).

  • The Lions are eighth in giveaway/takeaway ratio at plus-6 (16 giveaways, 22 takeaways). The Vikings are 15th at plus-1 (16 giveaways, 17 takeaways).

  • Detroit is 13th in red zone offense, scoring touchdowns on 20 of 35 chances (57.1 percent). Minnesota is 15th at 55.2 percent (16 of 29).

  • Defensively, the Lions are tied for eighth in red zone defense, allowing touchdowns on 20 of 40 opportunities (50 percent). The Vikings are 14th at 54.1 percent (20 of 37).

  • Both teams have struggled on third down. The league average on third-down conversions is 40.6 percent. The Lions are 22nd at 39.9 percent (75 of 188), while the Vikings are at 26th at 36.4 percent (63 of 173).

  • Defensively, Detroit is fourth on third down, allowing conversions on just 35.7 percent of chances (60 of 168). The Vikings are 21st at 42.1 percent (75 of 178).

  • The Vikings are second in average starting position following kickoffs at the 24.7-yard line, almost three yards more than the league average start of the 21.8 yard line. Detroit is 27th with an average start of the 20.2-yard line.

  • Matthew Stafford has had four 300-yard passing games. Teddy Bridgewater has two.

  • Detroit has allowed three 300-yard passers. Minnesota has allowed just one.

  • The Lions have nine 100-yard receivers – five from Golden Tate and four from Calvin Johnson. The Vikings have three – two from Jarius Wright and one from Charles Johnson – two of those three coming last week.

  • Both the Vikings and Lions have allowed four 100-yard receivers.

  • The Vikings have three 100-yard rushing games – two from Jerick McKinnon and one from Cordarrelle Patterson. No Detroit runner has gone for 100 yards this season.

  • Detroit hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher. The Vikings have allowed four.

  • Bridgewater is 25th in attempts (310), 25th in completions (192), 22nd in completion percentage (61.7), 26th in yards (2,136), tied for 27th in touchdowns (10), tied for 10th in interceptions (8) and 26th in passer rating (82.4).

  • Stafford is tied for 7th in attempts (494), ninth in completions (304), 24th in completion percentage (61.5), 7th in yards (3,644), 14th in touchdowns (18), tied for 18th in interceptions (10) and 20th in passer rating (87.8).

  • Bridgewater is 18th in fourth-quarter passer rating at 87.6. Stafford is 27th at 79.5.

  • Stafford is 11th in third-down passer rating at 98.4. Bridgewater is 14th at 93.7.

  • Joique Bell is 17th in the league in rushing with 664 yards. Jerick McKinnon leads the Vikings with 538, which currently has him down to No. 28 and falling.

  • Golden Tate is seventh in receptions with 84. Despite missing all or most of five games, Calvin Johnson is tied for 34th with 57. Greg Jennings leads the Vikings with 50, which is tied for 55th in the league.

  • Tate is seventh in receiving yards with 1,186 yards. Calvin Johnson is 20th with 822. Jennings leads the Vikings with 598 yards, which again ties him for 55th in the NFL.

  • Matt Asiata leads the Vikings in scoring among non-kickers with 44 points (seven touchdowns and one two-point conversion). Johnson leads Detroit with 36 points (six TDs).

  • Blair Walsh is 20th in the league in scoring with 89 points. Because Detroit has used three kickers Matt Prater is tied for 28th with 64 points.

  • Punter/kickoff specialist Sam Martin is fifth in the league with 47 touchbacks. Walsh is 10th with 40.

  • Tate is 14th in total yards from scrimmage with 1,211 (1,186 receiving, 25 rushing). Bell is 30th with 932 (664 rushing, 268 receiving) and Johnson is 35th with 882 (all receiving).

  • Martin is tied for fifth in punting average at 47.1 yards. Jeff Locke is 24th at 44.2 yards.

  • In net punting average, Martin is sixth at 41.5 yards. Locke is 24th at 38.8 yards.

  • Marcus Sherels is seventh in punt return average at 9.5 yards. Jeremy Ross is eighth at 9.0 yards.

  • Ross is ninth in kickoff return average at 25.4 yards. Patterson is ninth with an average of 25.0 yards.

  • Three safeties in today’s game are among the elite in interceptions. Detroit’s Glover Quin is tied for second in the NFL with five picks. Harrison Smith and James Ihedigbo are both tied for fifth with four.

  • Everson Griffen is tied for sixth in the league with 12 sacks. Ezekial Ansah leads the Lions with 7.5, which ranks him 20th.

  • Despite missing time, Anthony Barr is still tied for second in fumble recoveries with three.

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