A.P. vs. Westbrook: A New-School Battle

Two of the most electrifying running backs in the league will meet today when the Eagles play the Vikings, as Adrian Peterson and Brian Westbrook bring their explosiveness to the table in a battle of 2-4 teams in dire need of a victory.

Something's got to give today as two of the league's top rushing teams and top defenses at stopping the run meet when the Vikings play the Eagles.

Nobody has run for more yards than the Vikings (163.7 yards a game), and the Eagles are near the top in the same category with 129.7 yards per game. However, when it comes to stopping the run, the Vikings have allowed just 76.5 yards a game while the Eagles are allowing opponents to gain just 88 yards a game.

With Adrian Peterson and Brian Westbrook both showing tremendous breakaway ability, the assignment for both defenses will be to shut them down. The question is which runner will get the most opportunities? Today's game is going to be a classic battle of strength vs. strength and the team that imposes its will on the ground will likely be the one the comes away with the win – which both teams desperately need with 2-4 records.

* The Vikings' offensive woes are best described in terms of red zone offense. In six games, the Vikings have been in the opposition red zone just six times. How bad is that? The next lowest team is New Orleans, which has 14 red zone trips – more than double the Vikings' total.
* While the Eagles have made 20 trips in the red zone, they have scored just six touchdowns. At a 30 percent TD rate, only the Falcons and Rams are worse this year.
* Defensively, the Vikings have allowed just 60 points in the red zone – third best in the league behind only the Steelers and Chiefs. The Eagles are allowing just 71.4 percent scoring in the red zone, as teams have come up empty on six of 21 red zone trips. Only the Bears (68 percent) are better at shutting down opponents from scoring.
* The Vikings have the 23rd rated offense in the league (1st rushing, 30th passing) and the 26th rated defense (4th rushing, 32nd passing). The Eagles, who are also 2-4, have the 8th rated offense (12th rushing, 14th passing and the 11th rated defense (8th rushing, 18th passing).
* The Vikings not only lead the league in rushing, but have the best average per carry, while the Eagles are third in average yards per rush attempt.
* The Vikings are tied for first with most takeaways by the defense and are fourth with a plus-6 giveaway-takeaway margin. The Eagles are only plus-1 in that department, but are tied for third in the league with just seven giveaways – but are tied for 28th with just eight takeaways.
* The Vikings' third-down conversion rates continue to be hideous. The Vikings are converting less than one out of every three third-down chances (31.8 percent), while allowing opponents to convert at a 43.2 percent clip.
* The Vikings are 31st in the league (ahead of only the Lions) on third-down conversions at 31.8 percent – more than nine percent worse the league average conversion rate of 41 percent.
* Through six games, Adrian Peterson has four 100-yard rushing games, while the Eagles have three – two from Brian Westbrook and one from Correll Buckhalter.
* Donovan McNabb is 29th in the league in completion percentage, but is fourth in the league with just two interceptions in 205 passes.
* McNabb hasn't been clutch late. His fourth-quarter passer rating of 70.4 is 28th in the league and his passer rating on third downs is just 73.9 percent.
* Peterson leads the league in rushing with 670 yards. He isn't likely to get supplanted this week since, of the next three leading rushers, two (Willis McGahee and Edgerrin James) are on bye and Ronnie Brown is out for the season.
* Peterson also leads the league with 6.2 yards a carry. Westbrook is third for runners with more than 10 carries a game with a 5.5 yard average. Marion Barber is No. 2 with 5.7 yards a carry.
* Bobby Wade leads the Vikings with 19 receptions, which ties him for 70th place in the league. Wade's team-best 219 receiving yards is tied for 71st.
* Of rookie Sidney Rice's 11 receptions, seven have come on third downs. * Peterson is tied for sixth in the league with six touchdowns – one of just three running backs in the top 10 for scoring TDs.
* Peterson leads the NFC with most yards from scrimmage (857) and Westbrook is second (789).
* Peterson also leads the NFC in converting first downs with 35. Westbrook is close behind with 33.
* Despite having a time of possession disparity of nearly three minutes a game, the Vikings are the top rushing team in the league. The Vikes are averaging 164 yards a game rushing while allowing just 76.5 yards to opponents.
* The Vikings are the only team in the league that is completing less than 50 percent of its passes.
* Ryan Longwell has just one more point scored (37) than Adrian Peterson (36).
* Despite a 2-4 record, the Vikings have still outscored their opponents 115-114.
* As a team, the Vikings are averaging 5.5 yards per rush. Peterson is averaging 6.2 yards, but Chester Taylor has a respectable 4.4-yard average and Mewelde Moore is averaging 7.2 yards.
* The Vikings have twice as many rushing touchdowns (6) than passing TDs (3), while allowing opponents nine passing touchdowns and just one rushing TD.
* Chris Kluwe leads the NFL with 18 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line.
* Bobby Wade has had 18 punt return chances. He has nine returns and nine fair catches.
* Vikings quarterbacks have a passer rating of just 58.2, while opponents have a passer rating of 89.5.
* The Vikings have completed just 83 passes – about 12 per game – while opponents have completed more than twice as many (167).
* Of the 116 points they have scored this season, the Eagles have 77 in the first half and just 39 in the second half.

Viking Update Top Stories