Vikings already surpassing 2008 numbers

Last week's effort aside, there is a reason the 2009 Vikings feel more explosive. They are already surpassing their numbers from last season and still have two games to play.

The 2009 Vikings and the 2008 Vikings would seem to have a lot in common. Both teams won double-digit games. Both won the NFC North. But their differences are much more numerous. With two games to go in the 2009 season, the Vikings have already reached or surpassed many of their top numbers from 2008, especially on offense. Consider the following:

  • In 2008, the Vikings converted 86 of 218 third down opportunities. In 2009, they have made good on 91 of 197.

  • In 2008, Vikings quarterbacks threw for 3,217 yards with 22 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. This year, Vikings quarterbacks have thrown for 3,724 yards with 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

  • In 2008, the Vikings rushed 519 times for 2,338 yards and 15 touchdowns. In 2009, they have rushed 402 times for 1,666 yards and 16 touchdowns.

  • In 2008, the Vikings outscored their opponents 94-78 in the first quarter, 208-152 in the first half and 379-333 overall. In 2009, the Vikings have outscored their opponents 62-26 in the first quarter, 194-114 in the first half and 396-269 overall.

  • In 2008, Adrian Peterson was the only Viking to score more than seven touchdowns (10). In 2009, Peterson has 15 touchdowns, Visanthe Shiancoe has nine and Percy Harvin has eight.

  • Jared Allen had 14.5 sacks to lead the 2008 team, which had 45 sacks. This year, Allen has 13.5 sacks and the team has 43 sacks.

  • Last year, Vikings QBs were sacked 43 times. This year, they've been sacked 31 times.

  • In 2008, Gus Frerotte had a passer rating of 73.7. In 2009, Brett Favre has a passer rating of 104.1.

  • In 2008, Peterson ran 363 times for 1,760 yards and 10 touchdowns. This year, he has 281 carries for 1,235 yards and 15 touchdowns.

  • Bobby Wade led the Vikings with 53 receptions last year and was the only Viking with 50 or more receptions. This year, Sidney Rice leads the team with 71 receptions and the possibility exists that as many as six players could have 50 catches. Bernard Berrian has 50 receptions, Harvin has 49, Shiancoe has 45, Chester Taylor has 40 and Peterson has 39.

  • The Vikings have allowed one punt return touchdown this year. In 2008, they surrendered four.

  • In 2008, the Vikings didn't have a kickoff return of 50 yards all season. This season, Harvin has five returns of 50 yards or more and two touchdowns.

  • In 2008, Ryan Longwell scored 127 points, made 29 of 34 field goals and kicked 40 extra points. In 2009, Longwell has 112 points, made 22 of 24 field goals and has 46 extra points.

  • In 2008, opponents averaged 14.9 yards per punt return. In 2009, they're averaging just 8.5 yards per punt return.

    While there may be some similarities between the 2008 and 2009 Vikings, it would seem this year's team is much more of a threat to go the distance in the postseason – on offense, defense and special teams.

    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.

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