By the Numbers
Here is this week's slew of "By the Numbers" on today's Vikings-Lions matchup:
The Vikings are the only team in the league with more first downs rushing (90) than passing (86). Defensively, they have allowed 163 first downs passing and just 46 on the ground.
Neither team has been impressive in time of possession. The Vikings have averaged having the ball for 28:25, while the Lions have averaged a nearly identical 28:23.
The Vikings need 94 yards rushing today to top 2,000 for the season. They have more yards rushing (1,906) than passing (1,747), but their defense has allowed 3,114 yards passing and just 823 rushing.
Vikings opponents are averaging 48.6 yards per punt.
The Vikings defense has one more touchdown (seven) than the team has touchdown passes (six).
The Vikings have scored 42 times this season – 27 touchdowns and 15 field goals. Their opponents have scored 45 times – 23 touchdowns and 22 field goals.
The Vikings are averaging 5.6 yards a carry as a team, while allowing opponents to average just 3.0 yards a rush – best in the NFL this season.
The Vikings have 13 interceptions this year, but just two by their cornerbacks.
Kickers have fared very well against the Vikings, making 21 of 22 attempts from 47 yards or less.
Just the opposite is true for the Lions. Opponents have made just 12 of 21 field goal attempts and are a hideous 4 of 13 from beyond 40 yards.
The Vikings are averaging one touchdown pass for every 47 attempts. Their opponents are averaging one TD for every 31 attempts.
The 47 sacks of Lions quarterbacks is the most of any team in the league.
Lions opponents are completing 70 percent of their passes this season and have a combined passer rating of 93.0.
Of the 30 touchdowns allowed by the Lions defense, 22 have come on passes and just eight on rushes.
Through the first three quarters of their games this year, the Lions have scored a combined 149 points. In the fourth quarter and one OT period against the Vikings, they have scored 108 points.
All 15 of the Lions touchdown passes have been thrown to wide receivers.
Jon Kitna needs just 103 yards to hit 3,000 yards passing for the season.
Adrian Peterson's 1,081 yards are currently good for ninth all-time for a single season by a Viking. With 31 yards, he'll catch Chuck Foreman (1977) for eighth place on the list, with 74 he'll catch Foreman (1976) for seventh place and with 106 he'll catch Robert Smith (1998) for sixth place. He needs 216 yards to move into second place all-time, behind only Smith (1,521 yards in 2000) for first.
Offensively, you couldn't have two bigger contrasts for teams rated 15th and 16th in total offense. The Vikings come into today's game with the 16th rated offense (1st rushing, 31st receiving), while the Lions are rated 15th (31st rushing, 7th passing).
Defensively, there are many more similarities than differences, as this marks a matchup of the two worst pass defenses as far as yardage is concerned. The Vikings are 27th in total defense (1st rushing, 32nd passing), while the Lions are 29th overall (tied for 9th rushing, 31st passing).
The Vikings and Lions are both at the bottom of the league in sacks allowed per passing play. The Vikings are 30th and the Lions are 31st.
The teams are also at the bottom of the third-down conversion charts, with the Vikings checking in 31st by converting on just 30.4 percent of their third downs and the Lions 30th overall with a conversion rate of just 30.5 percent. Only the 49ers are worse at converting third downs this year.
Only the Browns have allowed opponents to get more first downs than the Lions. The Vikings rank 27th in that category.
The Lions' special teams have had their problems as well. They rank 30th in the league in both punt return average and kickoff return average. The Vikings, on the other hand, are fourth in the league on kick return average.
The Lions are first in the league with 31 takeaways, but are tied for fifth for most giveaways with 26.
Through 11 games, it would be difficult to have two offenses any closer in yardage than the Vikings and Lions. The Lions have 3,666 total offensive yards, while the Vikings have 3,653 total yards.
The Vikings are the only team in the NFL to have already allowed 3,000 yards passing. The Lions need to allow just 40 to become the second team.
The Vikings remain tied for last with the 49ers for least red zone opportunities on offense with just 20 – less than two a game.
The Lions are 31st in the league – ahead of only the Chiefs – for red zone futility. Detroit has come away empty – no scoring of any kind – on 25 percent of their red zone opportunities.
Defensively, the Vikings are fifth in the league in the red zone, allowing opponents to score on 44.1 percent of their red zone chances. The Lions are 29th, allowing opponents to score touchdowns on 60 percent of their red zone possessions.
The Vikings rank dead last in first downs via passing with just 86. Only three other teams have less than 100.
The Lions have allowed 239 first downs on defense – ahead of only the Browns (256).
The Vikings and Lions have made the most out of first-down plays on offense. The Vikings are second in the league, averaging 6.13 yards on first down. The Lions are third with a 6.04-yard average.
The Vikings are third in the league in forcing opposing offenses to start at the 24.1-yard line after kickoffs. The Lions are 24th in that category, with opponents to start at the 29-yard line.
Both the Vikings and Lions have been lit up by opposing quarterbacks. The Vikings have allowed five 300-yard passing games, while the Lions have allowed four.
The Vikings have yet to have a 300-yard passer or 100-yard receiver. Kitna has two 300-yard games and the Lions have had a receiver top 100 yards four times. Defensively, the Vikings have allowed three 100-yard receivers, while the Lions have done it five times.
The Vikings have had six 100-yard rushers this season, while the Lions have done it just once. Conversely, the Vikings have allowed just one runner to top 100 yards rushing and Lions have allowed two. Of those three, two of them have been to Green Bay's Ryan Grant in the last three weeks.
Kitna ranks sixth in the NFL in pass attempts, completions and yards.
The good and bad of Kitna is on display late in games. In the fourth quarter this year, he has six touchdown passes – tied for fourth in the league. But his five interceptions is tied for third.
Despite missing two-and-a-half games due to injury, Peterson still leads the NFL in rushing. Willie Parker of the Steelers is second with 1,006 yards.
Peterson's eight rushing touchdowns is behind only LaDainian Tomlinson and Joseph Addai.
Of the top 10 rushers in the league other than A.P., he is averaging more than two yards per rush more than nine of them and 1.2 yards more than any running back in the league with more than 100 carries – second is Brandon Jacobs with a 5.2-yard average.
Bobby Wade's 33 receptions leads the team but is only good for a tie for 67th place in the NFL. The Lions have three in the top 50 – Roy Williams (20th), Shaun McDonald (24th) and Mike Furrey (T-47th).
In terms of receiving yardage, Wade leads the Vikings in that category, but it is only good enough for 80th place. Williams leads the Lions with 751 yards – good for 19th place in the league.
Peterson is tied for eighth place in scoring among non-kickers with nine touchdowns (54 points).
Jason Hanson is tied for seventh in the league in scoring by kickers with 89 points. Ryan Longwell is 21st with 72 points.
Peterson has 1,301 yards from scrimmage – second only to Brian Westbrook (1,459 yards).
Don't be shocked to see some fair catches called on punts. The Vikings have returned 19 punts this season and called fair catch 13 times. The Lions are even worse – former Viking Troy Walters has returned 14 punts and called 16 fair catches.
Dwight Smith is tied for sixth in the league with four interceptions.
Neither the Vikings nor the Lions have a sack leader in the top 30. Dewayne White leads the Lions with 5.5 sacks (tied for 33rd in the league), while Brian Robison leads the Vikings with 4.5 sacks (tied for 41st in the league).
Chad Greenway stands alone atop the NFL with four defensive fumble recoveries.
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