An in-depth look at the rankings between the Vikings and Ravens shows two teams solidly ranked in numerous categories. No wonder this is expected to be such a close game. First, however, there is the return of John David Booty.
John David Booty
's unemployment didn't last long. When he was released Wednesday from the practice squad and the team signed offensive tackle Clint Oldenburg, it seemed a bit strange that Booty's nameplate remained on his locker and his equipment and some personal items were there as well.
Saturday we found out why. Booty was re-signed Saturday and Oldenburg was released to make room for him back on the practice squad. Due to injuries along the offensive line, the Vikings were looking for an additional lineman for the week of practice leading up to today's game with the Ravens.
Having accomplished that, the Vikings announced Saturday that Oldenburg has been released and Booty was re-signed.
As the fourth quarterback on the roster, Booty has seen almost no snaps with the Vikings offense, but it does seem clear that he remains in the Vikings' future plans. But he may be liable to be released again if another team need presents itself, making his future long-term with the team a little murkier than it would appear.
VIKINGS-RAVENS BY THE NUMBERS
The Ravens have the fifth-rated offense in the league (6th rushing, 10th passing) and the 10th-ranked defense (4th rushing, 26th passing). The Vikings have the 19th-ranked offense (11th rushing, 17th passing) and the 14th-rated defense (10th rushing, 18th passing).
The Ravens are averaging 382.2 yards a game on offense (248.6 passing, 133.6 rushing). The Vikings are averaging 332.6 yards a game (216 passing, 116.6 rushing).
Defensively, the Ravens are allowing 314 yards a game (238 passing, 76 rushing), while the Vikings are allowing 320.6 yards a game (224.6 passing, 96 rushing).
The Ravens rushing offense is fourth in the league in average per carry at 4.9 yards a try. The Vikings are 17th at 4.1 yards.
The Ravens are third in the league against the run in terms of per-carry average, allowing just 3.0 yards a carry. The Vikings defense is 10th, allowing 3.8 yards per rushing attempt.
The Ravens lead the NFL in offensive first downs with 118 (73 passing, 39 rushing, six by penalty. The Vikings are 13th with 99 first downs (58 passing, 32 rushing, nine by penalty).
Defensively, the Ravens are 10th in allowing first downs with 89 (56 passing, 20 rushing and a league-high 13 by penalty). The Vkkings are 15th with 93 first downs allowed (57 passing, 27 rushing, nine by penalty).
Both teams have been extremely good converting third downs on offense. The league average conversion rate on third downs is 37.7 percent. The Vikings are third in the league at 48.6 percent (34 of 70 conversions), while the Ravens are fifth at 46.9 percent (30 of 64).
On the flip side, both teams have been very strong in not allowing opponents to convert on third downs. The Vikings are seventh in the league at 32.8 percent conversions (20 of 61). The Ravens are eighth at 34.4 percent (21 of 61).
The Vikings' return game has been outstanding. The team is third in the NFL in punt-return average and second in kickoff return average.
The Vikings are third in the league in points scored per game at 31.2, while the Ravens are fifth with 27.6 points a game.
No team is better in terms of giveaway-takeaway margin than the Vikings. They are at plus-8 (12 takeaways, four giveaways). The Ravens are tied for 10th place at plus-2 (nine takeaways, seven giveaways).
Only New Orleans (13) has more takeaways than the Vikings and only Green Bay (three) has fewer giveaways.
Both offenses have been extremely efficient in the red zone. The Vikings are second in the league, scoring on 70.6 percent of their chances (17 trips, 12 touchdowns) – behind only Kansas City, which has scored touchdowns on eight of 11 drives. The Ravens aren't far behind in seventh place, scoring on 63.2 percent of their chances (19 trips, 12 touchdowns).
Defensively, the teams are even better. The Vikings are first in red zone defense, allowing touchdowns on just 30.8 percent of opponent opportunities (13 chances, four touchdowns). The Ravens are second at 33.3 percent (15 chances, five touchdowns).
Joe Flacco has two 300-yard passing games this season, while Brett Favre has one. Both defenses have allowed one 300-yard passer this year.
Derrick Mason has the only 100-yard receiving game for either team. The Ravens have allowed two 100-yard receivers and the Vikings have allowed one.
Ray Rice has two 100-yard rushing games, while Adrian Peterson's only 100-yard rushing game was in Week 1. The Ravens had a 40-game streak of not allowing a 100-yard rusher snapped last week by Cedric Benson of the Bengals. The Vikings haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher since 2007 – a span of 28 games.
Favre is 13th in the league in attempts (149), ninth in completions (103), third in completion percentage (69.1), tied for fourth in touchdowns (9), tied for fifth in interceptions (2) and fourth in passer rating (104.1).
Flacco is third in attempts (182), fourth in completions (117), sixth in yards (1,289), tied for fourth in touchdown passes (9) and 12th in passer rating (90.2).
Favre is fifth in the league in third-down passing with a passer rating of 98.1. Flacco is 10th with a rating of 87.7.
Peterson is second in the league in rushing with 481 yards – six yards behind league leader Cedric Benson. Rice is seventh with 364 rushing yards.
While neither team has a player in the top 20 in receptions, they both have three in the top 50 – Baltimore's Ray Rice with 23 (tied for 21st place), Todd Heap with 21 (tied for 32nd) and Mason with 19 (tied for 48th), and the Vikings' Chester Taylor with 21 (tied for 32nd), Bernard Berrian with 19 (tied for 41st) and Percy Harvin with 18 (tied for 48th).
In terms of receiving yards, Mason is 24th in the league with 284 yards and the Vikings have two players – Harvin and Sidney Rice – tied for 42nd place with 233 yards.
Both teams have players in the top 10 in the league in third-down receptions. Taylor is tied for second with 12, behind only Steve Smith of the Giants. Ray Rice is sixth with 10 and Harvin is tied for seventh with nine.
Peterson and Willis McGahee are tied for the league lead in touchdowns with seven each.
Ryan Longwell is third in the league in scoring with 40 points, including a league-high 19 extra points. Former Vikings and current Ravens kicker Steve Hauschka is tied for 16th with 30 points.
The Vikings and their opponents have combined to kick 14 field goals on 15 attempts – the only miss being a blocked field goal against Longwell that was returned for a touchdown by San Francisco.
Ray Rice is second in the league in total yards with 572 (364 rushing, 208 receiving). Peterson is tied with Steven Jackson of the Rams for fourth with 543 yards (481 rushing, 62 receiving).
Peterson leads the NFL in first downs converted with 29 (26 rushing, three receiving). Rice is tied for third with 26 (14 rushing, 12 receiving).
Despite being injured, Darius Reynaud still has enough punt returns to qualify among the league leaders and is second with an average of 17.3 yards. Harvin is second in the league in kickoff returns, averaging 31.2 yards.
Four players in Sunday's game are tied for ninth place in the league with two interceptions – Ed Reed and Dawan Landry of the Ravens, and Cedric Griffin and Chad Greenway of the Vikings.
Jared Allen is third in the league with 6.5 sacks. Baltimore's Jarret Johnson is tied for ninth with four sacks.
Allen and Greenway are both tied for second with two defensive fumble recoveries.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.