The Vikings and Cardinals have the same record, but they are very different teams when considering the areas of their successes.
While Vikings running back Adrian Peterson
is going for his ninth 100-yard rushing game this season, he said last week that he realizes he may need to go down to the ground once he feels he can't push the pile any longer.
Those comments stemmed from the revelation that Peterson believed a Tampa Bay Buccaneers
linebacker was trying to "take (him) out" last month when he was stopped by several defenders and that player – identified by the St. Paul Pioneer Press as Cato June
– came diving at his knee.
This how the Pioneer Press described the play after reviewing the game tape:
"Defensive tackle Chris Hovan
is on Peterson's back. Defensive end Greg White
is on the ground, holding Peterson's left leg. Cornerback Ronde Barber
is also on Peterson, toward his right side. That's when June — who had been blocked on the right edge by tight end Jim Kleinsasser
— runs toward the pile and dives at Peterson's right knee. A moment later, the ball pops loose."
A league official informed VikingUpdate.com on Friday that June was not fined for the hit.
"At the time, I didn't know it was intentionally done until I watched the film and seen the guy come out of nowhere, dive straight for my knee and then get up flexing, like, you know, ‘Hey, I got him' or whatever it was," Peterson said.
"By the grace of God, my foot wasn't stuck in the grass and it was able to give. I looked at that play and really started thinking that, hey, whether you believe it or not, guys are out there trying to take you out so you've got to be smarter and protect yourself."
Peterson will look to stay healthy and become the franchise's single-season rushing leader with 109 yards more. Peterson also leads the league with 1,413 yards rushing.
VIKINGS-CARDINALS BY THE NUMBERS
The Vikings have the 18th-ranked offense in the league (sixth rushing, 25th passing) and the seventh-ranked defense (second rushing, 20th passing). Arizona has the fourth-rated offense (32nd rushing, second passing) and the 10th-ranked defense (12th rushing, 19th passing).
When it comes to percentage of passes thrown that an offense has had intercepted, Arizona ranks ninth in the league, while the Vikings are 31st.
Arizona in ninth in the league in third-down conversions on offense. The Vikings are 26th.
The odds of a big kick return may be minimal. The Cardinals rank 29th, while the Vikings rank 31st in kick-return average.
Neither team has been good at gaining a lot of yards from the punting game. We know about the Vikings' problems – being third in gross punt average, but 30th in net punt average. The Cardinals are 26th in gross punt average and 29th in net average.
When comes to average yards per rushing attempt allowed by defenses, the Vikings are first in the league while the Cardinals are eighth.
The Vikings are fourth in the league in sacks per pass play on defense. The Cardinals are 18th.
If you need a big fourth-down conversion Sunday, the Vikings may have the better shot. The Arizona defense is 28th in the league in allowing fourth-down conversions. The Vikings are third.
Arizona is 13th in the league in giveaway/takeaway ratio. Arizona is plus-3 (26 takeaways, 24 giveaways). The Vikings are tied for 19th at minus-2 (23 takeaways, 25 giveaways).
The Vikings have 12 defensive fumble recoveries. Only Arizona (15) and Kansas City (13) have more.
The Vikings have thrown 16 interceptions. Only Houston (19), St. Louis (18) and Dallas (17) have thrown more.
The Cardinals average 301 yards passing a game, while rushing just 75 yards a game. The Vikings average 184 yards a game passing and 140 yards rushing.
Defensively, the Vikings allow 218 yards passing a game and 73 yards rushing, while Arizona allows 216 passing and 97 rushing.
Only the Vikings and Pittsburgh haven't allowed 1,000 yards rushing against their defense. The Steelers have allowed 949 yards, the Vikings have allowed 953.
The Cardinals are seventh in the league in red zone offense, converting 58 red zone possession into 35 touchdowns. Only the Giants have more red zone possessions and nobody has more red zone touchdowns than Arizona.
The Vikings are 27th in the league in the red zone offense. Of 36 possessions, they have scored just 16 touchdowns – a 44.4 percent TD clip. Only five teams have lower percentages – Cincinnati, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Oakland and St. Louis.
Defensively, the Vikings rank sixth in the red zone, allowing just 17 touchdowns on 39 possessions (43.6 percent). Arizona is 30th, allowing 27 touchdowns on 42 red zone possessions (64.3 percent). Only New England and Houston give up a higher percentage of TDs in the red zone.
The Cardinals offense ranks second in the league in first downs achieved and the Vikings defense ranks second in first downs allowed.
Kurt Warner has seven 300-yard games, including games of 472, 395, 381, 361, 351 and 343.
The Vikings have not had a 300-yard passing game in the Brad Childress era.
The Vikings have allowed three 300-yard passers this year, while Arizona has only allowed one.
The Cardinals have had 11 100-yard receiving games – five from Larry Fitzgerald and three each from Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston.
The Vikings have four 100-yard receiving games – all from Bernard Berrian.
Both defenses have allowed four 100-yard receivers this season.
Adrian Peterson has eight 100-yard rushing games. The Cardinals have two – one from Edgerrin James and one from Tim Hightower.
The Cardinals have allowed just two 100-yard rushers. The Vikings have allowed none.
Warner is first in the league in attempts, yards and completion percentage, second in yards and third in touchdown passes.
Peterson leads the league with 1,413 yards rushing. James leads Arizona with 395 yards rushing – 43rd in the league.
Fitzgerald is tied with Boldin for fourth in the league in receptions with 83 each. Breaston is tied for 10th with 67. Bobby Wade leads the Vikings with 42 catches – tied for 61st in the league.
Fitzgerald is third in the league with 1,148 receiving yards. Boldin is eighth with 1,004 and Breaston is 17th with 863. Berrian leads the Vikings with 824 yards, good for 23rd in the league.
Boldin is tied for fifth in the league in third-down receptions with 22, just one ahead of Chester Taylor.
Only 11 players have scored 10 or more touchdowns and two of them are Cardinals – Boldin with 11 and Hightower with 10. Fitzgerald has nine TDs, tying him with Peterson.
Ryan Longwell is tied for fifth in scoring with 109 points. Neil Rackers is eighth with 106.
Peterson leads the NFL in total yards from scrimmage with 1,522 yards. Only two players (Matt Forte and Clinton Portis) are within 180 yards of A.D.
Jared Allen is tied for fourth in the league with 12.5 sacks. Kevin Williams is tied for 13th with 8.5 sacks. Nobody on the Cardinals has more than five.
The Cardinals have scored 137 points in the first and fourth quarters, while scoring 229 points in the second and third quarters.
Hightower and James have combined to average just 3.1 yards per carry.
The Vikings have been outscored 158-120 in the first and third quarters and outscored their opponents 187-118 in the second and fourth quarters.
The Vikings and Cardinals have identical time of possession averages at 31 minutes, 22 seconds.