|Last 3 Games||1-2||-1||1-2||0-3||15.0||10.3||288.3||(5.1)||2.0||21.7||14.0||389.7||(5.5)||1.7|
|Offense (All Games)||21.8||11.5||18.5||27:54||29-156||(5.4)||19-31||62.6%||173||(5.6)||60-329||(5.5)||(15.1)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||22.4||11||19.7||30:07||26-114||(4.3)||22-36||61.3%||232||(6.5)||62-346||(5.6)||(15.4)|
|Offense Road Games||18.3||10.3||18.0||26:32||25-152||(6)||20-34||60.6%||161||(4.8)||59-313||(5.3)||(17.1)|
|Defense (All Games)||22.0||11.1||21.6||32:29||29-115||(4)||24-37||64.0%||237||(6.4)||66-352||(5.3)||(16)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.8||10.9||20||31:50||27-118||(4.4)||21-35||60.2%||229||(6.6)||62-347||(5.6)||(15.2)|
|Defense Road Games||25.8||15.8||22.2||33:28||34-130||(3.9)||22-32||68.7%||219||(6.7)||66-349||(5.3)||(13.5)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.9||0.8||1.7||-0.4||13-5||36.1%||1-0||62.5%||3-71||(26.3)||2-15||(8.3)||6-49|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1.1||0.6||1.7||1.9||13-5||38.4%||1-0||52.0%||3-61||(24.3)||18-2||(8.6)||6-54|
|Stats For (Road Games)||1.0||0.8||1.8||-1.0||14-5||40.2%||1-0||60.0%||3-86||(30.5)||2-22||(10.2)||6-58|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.7||0.6||1.3|| ||15-7||44.0%||1-1||56.2%||2-46||(24.8)||3-21||(7.9)||7-61|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||0.8||0.6||1.5|| ||13-5||37.6%||1-0||48.7%||3-56||(22)||22-2||(9.2)||7-58|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||0.5||0.3||0.8|| ||15-7||47.3%||1-1||75.0%||1-28||(21.4)||2-14||(7.7)||6-62|
|Last 3 Games||3-0||+4.8||3-0||1-2||20.7||4.7||315.0||(5.1)||0.7||14.0||10.0||331.7||(5.1)||2.3|
|Offense (All Games)||18.2||8.4||17.2||30:27||27-112||(4.2)||20-33||59.8%||212||(6.4)||60-324||(5.4)||(17.9)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||20.9||10.2||19.3||30:07||27-115||(4.3)||21-35||58.8%||220||(6.3)||62-335||(5.4)||(16)|
|Offense Home Games||19.3||8.7||16.7||29:28||26-107||(4.2)||20-34||58.8%||211||(6.2)||60-318||(5.3)||(16.4)|
|Defense (All Games)||21.5||11.5||20.7||31:50||28-109||(4)||23-35||66.7%||227||(6.6)||62-336||(5.4)||(15.7)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.7||11.2||20||31:52||29-126||(4.4)||20-33||61.5%||216||(6.5)||62-342||(5.6)||(15)|
|Defense Home Games||19.0||10.2||19.0||32:57||30-124||(4.1)||22-32||68.0%||210||(6.5)||63-334||(5.3)||(17.6)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.8||0.5||1.3||-0.1||13-4||33.3%||1-1||57.9%||2-52||(21.2)||2-17||(6.9)||8-59|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1.1||0.7||1.8||1.8||13-5||37.5%||1-0||52.0%||3-66||(23.8)||19-2||(9.1)||6-53|
|Stats For (Home Games)||0.8||0.7||1.5||-0.5||14-5||34.1%||2-1||50.0%||2-50||(23.2)||2-20||(9.2)||6-47|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.0||0.2||1.2|| ||13-5||37.6%||1-0||45.5%||2-50||(24.8)||3-28||(10.4)||6-48|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||0.7||0.7||1.4|| ||13-5||37.2%||1-0||47.7%||2-60||(24.2)||25-2||(10.2)||7-57|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||0.7||0.3||1.0|| ||15-6||41.1%||1-0||0.0%||1-31||(26.7)||2-22||(9.3)||6-55|
|Average power rating of opponents played: MINNESOTA 19.7, ST LOUIS 21.8|
|12/2/2012||@ GREEN BAY||14-23||L||7||L||47||U||28-240||12-25-119||2||36-152||27-35-283||1|
|12/16/2012||@ ST LOUIS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/23/2012||@ HOUSTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/30/2012||GREEN BAY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|11/11/2012||@ SAN FRANCISCO||24-24||T||13.5||W||37.5||O||37-159||28-41-299||1||34-183||18-25-158||0|
|12/16/2012||MINNESOTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/23/2012||@ TAMPA BAY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|12/30/2012||@ SEATTLE|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|MINNESOTA: The Vikings will continue to transition from the zone-blocking scheme they used under Brad Childress to the man-to-man scheme offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave installed in his first season last year. If anything, the new system was a plus for Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, who were both excellent running the ball last season. After tearing his ACL last December, Peterson might not be ready to go full speed in September, in which case Gerhart would carry a heavy workload with Lex Hilliard seeing spot duty. Percy Harvin also sees a couple of carries every game. Peterson gets a big majority of the red zone touches when healthy. If he's out, Gerhart will assume that role and the Vikings will likely use him often. Musgrave has Christian Ponder moving around a lot in a West Coast passing game. Head coach Leslie Frazier said Harvin will play more following a season in which he was on the field for about 60 percent of the team's snaps. After he serves a three-game suspension, Jerome Simpson will provide a vertical threat. Michael Jenkins will still see the field, but not many targets. Ponder looks short often, so TE Kyle Rudolph should be targeted frequently. They'll also use John Carlson in two-TE sets about 50 percent of the time. Harvin was a popular target for Ponder when they threw in the red zone, and Minnesota uses its tight ends more often near the goal line. Despite tying the Eagles for the most sacks in the NFL last year, the Vikings were unimpressive on the defensive side of the ball. DE Jared Allen (22 sacks in 2011) is still the most ferocious DE in football, but this secondary is awful, coming off an eight-interception season with 251 passing YPG allowed. Allen posted a career year, falling one sack short of the league record, despite having to a below-average defense where he gets double-teamed on most plays. His durability and consistency are simply unmatched among NFL defensive linemen. One of the beneficiaries of all the attention that gets paid to Allen is fellow DL Brian Robison. After signing a three-year deal before the 2011 season, Robison earned his keep with a career-best performance. LB Chad Greenway is a bit one-dimensional as a run-stopper, but he has excelled in that area'Greenway is second in the NFL in total tackles (395) over the past three years. When healthy, Antonie Winfield is still excellent in run support, but at 35 years old he's not getting any more durable. The Vikings need him to stay healthy and effective if they're to have any chance of keeping up with the passing games of the teams in the division. |
|ST LOUIS: New offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer comes from the Jets, where he often abandoned the run and prefers to get cute with a lot of play-action trickery. New offensive line coach Paul Boudreau figures to keep transitioning to more man blocking, a transition they started in 2011 with little success. Steven Jackson will still be relied on heavily as long as he remains healthy; rookie Isaiah Pead will be more of a return specialist and straight backup as Jackson's heir. Jackson will continue to take third down reps, and he figures to stay on the field to handle red zone carries. There's a lot of crossing and dragging in Schottenheimer's complicated offense, which is one that could be tough for the Rams' young WRs to pick up. Rookie Brian Quick and slot guys Danny Amendola and TE Lance Kendricks are likely the biggest beneficiaries from a targets standpoint, while outside guys like Chris Givens and Austin Pettis figure to see fewer balls. Quick is the guy St. Louis is counting on to be quarterback Sam Bradford's go-to receiver. While Quick's skills are certainly impressive, he's got a big adjustment to make coming from Appalachian State's spread offense. Schottenheimer always got pass-happy in the red zone, frequently using play-action even before he had a goal line weapon in Plaxico Burress in 2011. Only three teams forced fewer turnovers than the Rams did in 2011, and their horrible offense helped contribute to the rise in points and yards allowed. St. Louis did improve in the offseason with the signings of CB Cortland Finnegan and LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar, but those two guys aren't enough to make this an above-average unit. Chris Long's switch to left end after Leonard Little retired paid immediate dividends in 2010, and he then had a career-high 13 sacks last season with then-rookie RDE Robert Quinn drawing attention to the opposite side. James Laurinaitis has more tackles than any NFL player over the past three seasons, and he has yet to miss a game in his career. The question is whether he'll be as productive in what's expected to be a more aggressive scheme under new head coach Jeff Fisher. Meanwhile, the team seems ready to go into the season without a defensive coordinator'the coordinator work has been handled at various times over the past few months by assistant head coach Dave McGinnis, secondary coach Chuck Cecil and linebackers coach Blake Williams, the son of suspended Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who was exiled indefinitely for his role in the Saints bounty scandal. |
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (MINNESOTA-ST LOUIS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Vikings-Rams Preview* ======================
By JORDAN GARRETSON STATS Writer
Sunday's meeting between the Minnesota Vikings and St. Louis Rams could serve as all but an elimination game in the NFC playoff race.
While St. Louis might need a win at home to remain in the hunt, Minnesota could move into a tie for a wild-card spot or potentially make its road to the postseason significantly tougher.
The Vikings (7-6) ended a two-game skid and breathed life into their playoff hopes with a 21-14 home win over Chicago last Sunday. They still have an outside chance at winning the NFC North, but the more likely route to their first postseason appearance since 2009 would be through one of two wild-card berths. They're a game behind the Bears and Seattle for those spots.
The Rams (6-6-1) can't catch those teams this week but have avoided elimination by winning three in a row. However, their postseason hopes would be dashed if they lose Sunday and enough other contenders all win.
St. Louis has trailed at halftime in each game during its current win streak but won't want to fall into an early hole against Minnesota, which hasn't trailed in six of its seven wins.
The Vikings' formula for success last week was the same as usual: get an early lead and use heavy doses of Adrian Peterson in hopes of not relying on struggling quarterback Christian Ponder. Minnesota led 14-0 before the first quarter's midway point.
"If we're able to build some sort of lead, I think our defense can handle pretty much any offense in the league," defensive end Brian Robison said. "I really do believe that. ... We have to make sure we jump on every team we play and keep going at it that way."
Grabbing a lead allows the Vikings to hand the ball off to Peterson even more often. He carried the ball a career-high 31 times for 154 yards and two touchdowns last Sunday.
Peterson, who underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL less than a year ago, appears to be running away with his second rushing title. No player is within 300 rushing yards of his season total of 1,600, which is 160 shy of his career-best mark from 2008. He'll become the seventh player in history to reach 2,000 in a season if he averages at least 134.0 rushing yards in his final three games.
"I think about it," Peterson said of the 2,000-yard plateau. "I don't try to think about it too much. I feel like it will happen. It's obvious we're going to continue to run the ball and the chips will fall where they may."
The sixth-year pro is riding a career-best streak of seven consecutive 100-yard games, averaging 157.3 in that span with eight TDs.
The Rams have not allowed an opposing running back to gain more than 65 yards in four straight games. They held Buffalo's sixth-ranked rushing attack to 61 yards - 80 below its season average - in a 15-12 road win last Sunday.
If St. Louis makes the playoffs for the first time since 2004, it might have to do so largely without help from the offense. The Rams' 324.3 yards per game rank 25th in the NFL and their average of 18.2 points is 29th.
The three-game winning streak has come despite only four offensive TDs, but opponents have been limited to 14.0 points per game in that span.
"At the end of the day a win's a win," coach Jeff Fisher said. "We're not equipped like New England to put 40 up on everybody. Hopefully we'll get to that point, but right now we're finding ways to win."
Still, St. Louis' offense was able to put together a 14-play, 84-yard drive against Buffalo that ended with the game's winning score - a 13-yard pass from Sam Bradford to Brandon Gibson with 48 seconds left.
"Anytime you can go out and win a game in the final minutes, it can give you confidence," said Bradford, whose 81.9 passer rating ranks 22nd in the league.
Ponder is even worse at 78.3, lowest among current NFC starters. His passer rating has been below that mark in six of the past seven games as he's failed to throw for 100 yards three times, including 91 against Chicago. Ponder's 5.98 yards per attempt are fewer than Peterson's 6.0 per carry.
Coach Leslie Frazier said that the second-year player must particularly improve his footwork, decision-making and throwing mechanics.
"Whether it be moving around in the pocket, stepping up or moving to the left or to the right, all these things are part of him being successful," Frazier said. "We're always working on his fundamentals and his technique at the position, and we'll continue to do that."
The Rams have won seven of the last 10 regular-season meetings but lost the most recent one, 38-10 at St. Louis in 2009 as Peterson scored two TDs.
|Last Updated: 9/1/2014 10:52:02 AM EST|