There is a general feeling among Minnesota Vikings fans that Adrian Peterson’s return to the lineup will translate into huge yardage. After all, Indianapolis has allowed five 100-yard rushers already this year. Why not six?
However, when Peterson comes back from a layoff, his career has had two chapters – the short layoffs early in his career and the longer work stoppages later in his career.
As a rookie in 2007, Peterson missed two games with an ankle sprain. In his first game back vs. Detroit, he ran 15 times for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
In 2010, he missed the Dec. 20 game vs. Chicago and, in his return game, he ran 22 times for 118 yards and a touchdown at Philadelphia.
In 2013, he missed the Dec. 15 game vs. Philadelphia and, upon his return the following week, he ran 11 times for 45 yards.
Perhaps the bigger concern in the production Peterson may get today is based on the slow starts he had after trying to hit the ground running after sitting out the preseason. In each of the last three seasons, Peterson has been slow out of the gate when trying to get started up after a long layoff because, since 2012, the Vikings have opted not to play Peterson during the preseason.
In 2014 in the season opener at St. Louis, Peterson ran 21 for 75 yards. In the 2015 season opener at San Francisco, he ran just 10 times for 31 yards. In Week 1 this season, he had one of the worst games of his career, rushing 19 times for just 31 yards.
Which A.P. will we get today? Most fans won’t care, because many believe it may be one of his final performances in front of the home fans after a decade of Hall of Fame games.
VIKINGS-COLTS BY THE NUMBERS
- The Vikings have the 31st-ranked offense (32nd rushing, 24th passing) and the second-ranked defense (16th rushing, 3rd passing).
- The Colts have the 14th-ranked offense (24th rushing, 9th passing) and the 29th-ranked defense (24th rushing, 26th passing).
- Minnesota is averaging 303 yards a game (230 passing, 73 rushing). Indianapolis is averaging 357 yards a game (259 passing, 98 rushing).
- The Vikings are allowing 304 yards a game (202 passing, 102 rushing). The Colts are allowing 378 yards a game (262 passing, 115 rushing).
- The Vikings are second in the league in takeaway/giveaway ratio at plus-12 (22 takeaways, 10 giveaways).
- Only Oakland and Buffalo have fewer giveaways than the Vikings – both have just nine.
- Indianapolis is tied for 23rd at minus-5 (12 takeaways, 17 giveaways).
- The Vikings are 29th in red zone offense, scoring touchdowns on just 18 of 40 opportunities (45 percent). Indianapolis is sixth at 63.6 percent (28 touchdowns on 44 chances).
- Indianapolis is also sixth in red zone defense, allowing touchdowns on 21 of 43 opportunities (48.8 percent). Minnesota is tied for 16th at 54.5 percent (18 touchdowns on 33 chances).
- No team has allowed opponents into the red zone less often than the Vikings.
- The Colts are eighth in third-down efficiency, converting on 74 of 171 opportunities (43.3 percent). Minnesota is 20th at 37.9 percent (67 of 177). The league average is 39.8 percent.
- The Vikings are 10th in third-down defense, allowing conversions on 65 of 171 chances (38.0 percent). Indianapolis is 23rd at 41.3 percent (64 of 155).
- Andrew Luck has four 300-yard passing games. Sam Bradford has one.
- Indianapolis has allowed three 300-yard passing games. Minnesota hasn’t allowed any.
- Both teams have five 100-yard receiving games. For the Vikings, Stefon Diggs has three and Adam Thielen has two. T.Y. Hilton has all five of Indy’s 100-yard receiving games.
- The Colts have allowed three 100-yard receivers. The Vikings allowed their first last week.
- Frank Gore has one 100-yard rushing game this season. The Vikings haven’t had one yet.
- Indianapolis has allowed five 100-yard rushers. Minnesota has allowed two.
- Bradford is 19th in pass attempts (427), ninth in completions (304), first in completion percentage (71.2), 21st in passing yards (2,954), tied for 22nd in touchdowns (14), tied for fourth in interceptions (3) and eighth in passer rating (98.2).
- Luck is 15th in attempts (448), 18th in completions (282), 19th in completion percentage (62.9), 11th in yards (3,381), tied for fifth in touchdown passes (25), tied for 18th in interceptions (10) and 12th in passer rating (95.3).
- Luck is sixth in fourth-quarter passer rating at 103.4. Bradford is eighth at 100.2.
- Bradford is 10th in the third-down passer rating at 93.4. Luck is 21st at 78.7.
- Gore is 14th in rushing with 790 yards. Jerick McKinnon leads the Vikings with 388 yards, which ranks him 37th in the league.
- Diggs and Hilton lead their respective teams in receptions with 78, which ties them both for seventh. Kyle Rudolph is tied for 37th with 58 receptions. Thielen is tied for 42nd with 56.
- Hilton is second in the league with 1,203 receiving yards. Diggs is 21st with 861 yards. Thielen is 33rd with 758 yards.
- Gore is tied for 18th in scoring among non-kickers with 48 points (eight touchdowns). Matt Asiata and Rudolph are tied for 34th with 36 points (six touchdowns).
- Adam Vinatieri is eighth in scoring among kickers with 104 points. The combination of Blair Walsh and Kai Forbath has scored 86 points, which would rank them 20th.
- Hilton is ninth in yards from scrimmage with 1,203 (all receiving). Diggs is 42nd with 871 yards (861 receiving, 10 rushing).
- Colts punter Pat McAfee leads the league in punting, averaging 49.6 yards a punt. Jeff Locke is 29th at 43.1 yards.
- McAfee is fourth in net punting average at 42.8 yards. Locke is tied for 17th at 40.0 yards.
- Marcus Sherels is third in punt return average at 13.4 yards. The Colts don’t have a punt returner with enough returns to qualify.
- Cordarrelle Patterson leads the league in kickoff return average at 31.7 yards. The Colts don’t enough returns to qualify.
- Xavier Rhodes is tied for fifth in interceptions with four. Darius Butler is tied for ninth with three.
- Danielle Hunter is fifth in sacks with 10½. Everson Griffen and Indy’s Erik Walden are tied for 12th with eight. Brian Robison is tied for 23rd with seven.
- Andrew Sendejo is tied for fifth in defensive fumble recoveries with two.