Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers: By the numbers

Many prognosticators give the Packers the edge because of Aaron Rodgers, but lately Teddy Bridgewater has been better with a similar schedule. Plus, we review the rankings for both teams.

Heading into tonight’s division title-deciding game between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers, analysts have had widely differing on who will win and why.

About the only thing they all agree upon is that the Packers have a huge advantage having Aaron Rodgers. Nobody is putting a checkmark next to Teddy Bridgewater’s name.

But, if you look at the numbers, there isn’t any reason to put Rodgers at such a strong and obvious advantage. At least not this year, not now.

The NFL, much more than any other sport, is all about the concept of “what have you done for me lately?” What have they done lately to help their teams win?

In the last three games, the Vikings have played the Cardinals, Giants and Bears. In that same span, the Packers have played the Cardinals, Cowboys and Raiders.

It’s up to you to decide which slate of games is more imposing. For the purposes of this, let’s just call it a push and say they strength of schedule is about even.

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Over the last three games, Bridgewater has attempted 81 passes, completing 57 (70.3 percent) for 734 yards (9.1 yards per pass) with six touchdowns and two interceptions.

Rodgers in his last three games has attempted 102 passes, completing 59 (57.8 percent) for 573 yards (5.6 yards per pass) with four touchdowns and two interceptions.

By any standard, with their seasons on the line, Bridgewater has performed better than Rodgers.

It can’t be ignored that a quarterback is only as good as his offensive line and his receivers’ ability to get separation on routes. But as everyone who is picking the Packers to win will quickly attest, it’s going to be Rodgers who brings home yet another division title.

But, if you look at from the recent statistical measuring stick, Bridgewater has been the better quarterback down the stretch.

VIKINGS-PACKERS BY THE NUMBERS

  • The Vikings have the 26th-ranked offense (5th rushing, 31st passing) and the 14th-ranked defense (18th rushing, 9th passing).
  • The Packers have the 24th-ranked offense (10th rushing, 26th passing) and the 19th on defense (21st rushing, 13th passing).
  • Green Bay is averaging 334 yards a game (216 passing, 118 rushing). Minnesota is averaging 327 yards a game (189 passing, 138 rushing).
  • The Vikings are allowing 344 yards a game (232 passing, 112 rushing). The Packers are allowing 354 yards a game (237 passing, 117 rushing).
  • Minnesota and Green Bay are both tied for eighth place in takeaway/giveaway ratio at plus-5. Both the Vikings and Packers have 20 takeaways and 15 giveaways.
  • The Packers are 16th in red zone offense, scoring touchdowns on 27 of 49 possessions (56.3 percent). The Vikings are 24th at 50 percent, scoring touchdowns on 21 of 42 possessions.
  • Minnesota is fourth in red zone defense, allowing touchdowns on just 18 of 39 possessions (46.2 percent). Green Bay is 16th at 57.4 percent (27 touchdowns on 47 possessions).
  • The Vikings are 17th in third-down offense, converting on 39.4 percent of their opportunities (74 of 188). Green Bay is 27th at 35.2 percent (68 of 193). The league average is 38.9 percent.
  • Defensively, Minnesota is eighth at 36.1 percent, allowing conversions on 69 of 191 attempts (36.1 percent). The Packers are 10th at 36.8 percent (77 of 209).
  • The Vikings lead the league in average starting position following kickoffs at the 25.1-yard line. The Packers are fourth with an average starting position after kickoffs of the 23.1-yard line. The league average is the 21.6-yard line.
  • Rodgers has just three 300-yard passing games this season. Bridgewater has two 300-yard passing games.
  • Both Minnesota and Green Bay have allowed two 300-yard passing games.
  • The Packers have four 100-yard receiving games – two from James Jones and one each for Randall Cobb and Richard Rodgers. The Vikings have three 100-yard receiving games – two from Stefon Diggs and one from Kyle Rudolph.
  • Green Bay has allowed six 100-yard receivers. Minnesota has allowed four 100-yard receivers.
  • Adrian Peterson has seven 100-yard rushing games. The Packers have four – three from Eddie Lacy and James Starks has one.
  • Minnesota has allowed five 100-yard rushers, including one to Lacy. Green Bay has allowed four 100-yard rushers.
  • Rodgers is 10th in the league in pass attempts (528), 12th in receptions (319), 27th in completion percentage (60.4), 17th in passing yards (3,530), 31st in average gain per attempt (6.69 yards), ninth in TD passes (30), tied for 10th in interceptions (7) and 13th in passer rating (93.7).
  • Bridgewater is 21st in attempts (428), 20th in completions (282), ninth in completion percentage (65.9), 22nd in pass yards (3,132), tied for 26th in TD passes (14), tied for 13th in interceptions (8) and 21st in passer rating (90.6).
  • Rodgers is 15th in fourth-quarter passer rating at 93.1. Bridgewater is 21st at 89.7.
  • Bridgewater is sixth on third-down passer rating at 103.3. Rodgers is 16th at 87.6.
  • Peterson enters play today leading the NFL in rushing with 1,418 yards. Lacy is 19th with 724 yards.
  • With one game to play, only four running backs have rushed for 1,000 yards.
  • Cobb leads the Packers with 73 receptions, which ties him for 22nd in the NFL. Diggs is tied for 58th with 51 receptions, which leads the Vikings.
  • Cobb leads the Packers with 792 receiving yards, which places him 36th in the league. Diggs leads the Vikings with 712 yards, which ranks him 48th in the league.
  • Peterson is tied for 15th in scoring among non-kickers with 60 points (10 touchdowns). Richard Rodgers leads the Packers with 44 points (seven touchdowns and a two-point conversion), which ties him for 35th place.
  • Blair Walsh is fourth in the league in scoring among kickers with 127 points, thanks to scoring 19 last week. Mason Crosby is 16th with 101 points.
  • Peterson is third in the league in total yards from scrimmage with 1,639 (1,418 rushing, 221 receiving). He trails only Julio Jones (1,722 yards) and Antonio Brown (1,675 yards). Starks leads the Packers with 951 yards (577 rushing, 374 receiving), which ranks him 47th in the league.
  • Green Bay punter Tim Masthay is 27th in punting average at 43.8 yards. Jeff Locke is dead last in the league at 41.8 yards.
  • Masthay is 12th in net punting average at 40.3 yards. Locke is 28th with a 37.9-yard average.
  • Marcus Sherels is 10th in punt return average at 9.4 yards. Of the 27 players with enough returns to qualify, Green Bay’s Micah Hyde is 26th with a 5.7-yard average.
  • Cordarrelle Patterson is second in the NFL in kickoff return average at 30.6 yards. The Packers haven’t had anyone return enough kicks to qualify for the league lead. Patterson is behind Detroit’s Ameer Abdullah, who is averaging 30.7 yards per return.
  • Two Packers – Damarious Randall and Sam Shields – and one Viking – Terence Newman – are all tied for 15th place in interceptions with three.
  • Julius Peppers leads the Packers in sacks with 9½, which ties him for 11th. Everson Griffen leads the Vikings with 8½, which ties him for 16th.  


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