|Last 3 Games||2-1||+2.5||2-1||2-1||25.3||10.3||336.3||(6)||2.3||28.3||12.3||383.0||(6)||0.7|
|Offense (All Games)||24.4||11.9||19.3||28:28||26-130||(4.9)||20-34||59.5%||214||(6.3)||61-344||(5.7)||(14.1)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||24||11.6||20||30:02||27-116||(4.3)||22-35||60.9%||235||(6.7)||62-351||(5.7)||(14.6)|
|Offense Road Games||22.7||12.0||17.6||28:18||27-129||(4.8)||18-34||54.1%||209||(6.2)||60-338||(5.6)||(14.9)|
|Defense (All Games)||30.0||14.4||23.0||33:18||28-111||(4)||26-41||64.7%||287||(7.1)||68-398||(5.8)||(13.3)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||24.3||11.5||20.4||31:34||27-113||(4.2)||22-36||61.1%||247||(6.9)||63-361||(5.7)||(14.9)|
|Defense Road Games||31.1||14.3||23.4||33:22||27-99||(3.6)||27-43||63.9%||289||(6.8)||70-388||(5.5)||(12.5)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.2||0.8||2.0||-0.7||13-5||36.4%||1-1||52.6%||4-103||(24.9)||1-21||(15.2)||4-43|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1||0.6||1.6||2||13-5||37.7%||1-1||53.1%||3-62||(23)||19-2||(10.1)||6-50|
|Stats For (Road Games)||1.3||1.1||2.4||-0.9||14-5||33.1%||2-1||42.9%||5-123||(27.1)||1-22||(16.3)||4-49|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.7||0.5||1.2|| ||14-6||44.2%||1-1||61.1%||3-70||(27.1)||2-20||(8.8)||6-63|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.6||1.6|| ||13-5||39.3%||1-0||51.4%||3-63||(22.8)||22-2||(10.7)||6-53|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||0.9||0.7||1.6|| ||14-6||40.8%||1-0||50.0%||3-84||(28.1)||2-18||(7.5)||6-60|
|Last 3 Games||2-1||+2.3||2-1||0-3||19.7||12.7||245.7||(4.6)||1.3||18.7||8.7||290.3||(4.7)||1.7|
|Offense (All Games)||21.7||10.5||17.6||29:05||27-109||(4.1)||19-32||59.5%||195||(6.2)||58-305||(5.2)||(14)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||21.8||11.2||19.5||30:58||27-113||(4.2)||21-34||61.6%||223||(6.5)||61-336||(5.5)||(15.4)|
|Offense Home Games||24.2||13.6||19.4||31:07||31-140||(4.5)||17-30||58.1%||184||(6.1)||61-324||(5.3)||(13.4)|
|Defense (All Games)||22.7||11.2||21.1||30:55||27-103||(3.7)||22-33||68.1%||242||(7.4)||60-345||(5.7)||(15.2)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||23.3||11.9||19.5||30:25||27-111||(4.1)||21-34||62.1%||227||(6.8)||61-338||(5.6)||(14.5)|
|Defense Home Games||21.4||9.4||20.4||28:53||26-105||(4)||21-33||64.8%||225||(6.8)||59-331||(5.6)||(15.5)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.7||0.6||1.3||0.5||13-5||34.4%||1-0||33.3%||2-52||(22.6)||3-24||(8.8)||8-63|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1||0.6||1.7||2||13-5||37.7%||1-0||47.6%||3-58||(22.8)||18-2||(8.7)||6-53|
|Stats For (Home Games)||0.5||0.7||1.2||0.9||14-5||37.5%||0-0||25.0%||2-44||(23.5)||3-15||(5.1)||6-56|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.9||0.9||1.8|| ||13-5||38.8%||1-1||56.2%||2-34||(21.8)||2-5||(2.9)||7-61|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||0.9||0.5||1.4|| ||13-5||37.9%||1-0||50.5%||2-55||(23.5)||18-2||(9)||6-55|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||1.0||1.1||2.1|| ||13-5||38.8%||1-1||60.0%||1-34||(24.6)||1-3||(2.1)||7-62|
|Average power rating of opponents played: MINNESOTA 20.5, ST LOUIS 22.6|
|9/7/2014||@ ST LOUIS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/14/2014||NEW ENGLAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/21/2014||@ NEW ORLEANS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/28/2014||ATLANTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/2/2014||@ GREEN BAY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/7/2014||MINNESOTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/14/2014||@ TAMPA BAY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/21/2014||DALLAS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/5/2014||@ PHILADELPHIA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|MINNESOTA: At every one of Norv Turner's stops, the offense has leaned on a power running game, and his first year as the Vikings' offensive coordinator will be no different. He retained offensive line coach Jeff Davidson, whose scheme skews toward more zone than gap blocking. Adrian Peterson will see a monstrous workload due to his club's uncertainty under center, not to mention the inclement weather they'll be playing in as they move outdoors to University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium for 2014 and 2015 while their new stadium is being constructed. Expect the Vikings to also be one of the NFL's most run-heavy red zone teams.|
Turner runs a classic Air Coryell, high-to-low passing game, one that should be relatively easy for rookie Teddy Bridgewater to pick up once he ascends to the top of the depth chart past incumbents Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder. They're going to carve out a bigger role for Cordarrelle Patterson, who has proven to be a catch-and-run threat, but he should also start working downfield more often. Patterson also proved to be a red-zone threat in limited chances last year. Greg Jennings will serve as the top downfield option and tight end Kyle Rudolph should have a big role as a possession receiver and an expanded role in the red zone. Peterson will also be worked into the passing game.
Free agents free safety Kurt Coleman and cornerbacks Captain Munnerlyn and Derek Cox were nice offseason additions. But new head coach Mike Zimmer and new defensive coordinator George Edwards don't have any superstar players to work with now that defensive end Jared Allen and his 128.5 career sacks are in rival Chicago.
|ST LOUIS: The Rams' running game found its footing in the second half of last year. They use a variety of looks behind a scheme that is heavy in zone blocking, utilizing a fullback and two tight ends, and running out of shotgun sets. Zac Stacy will be the workhorse. He thrived running in space behind the creative blocking schemes, especially on the perimeter. Rookie Tre Mason figures to take a decent workload behind him, as the Rams look to keep both their undersized runners healthy and fresh. The 224-pound Stacy will once again likely take on a monster red-zone workload, as the Rams tend to go very ground-heavy near the goal line.
Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's playbook is full of short drops, play-action and catch-and-run situations. Tight end Jared Cook emerged as the No. 1 target by default, as the Rams effectively move him around to find mismatches. They're hoping Titans cast-off Kenny Britt can take over at split end and provide a true No. 1 receiver. Tavon Austin figures to have a more consistent role this year, and they'll use him throughout formations. Chris Givens will be a deep threat again, and expect more screen-game work for Stacy, as Mason isn't ready to passing downs. When they throw inside the 20, quarterback Sam Bradford will usually look for one of his tight ends: Cook or Lance Kendricks. Britt might also work his way into the red-zone mix.|
This team has an NFL-high 105 sacks since 2012 and new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will make sure that doesn't change with basically the same personnel plus some rookies. The Rams recovered 11 more fumbles last season than in 2012, and scored five defensive touchdowns for the second straight year.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (MINNESOTA-ST LOUIS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Vikings-Rams Preview* ======================
By JEFF BARTL STATS Senior Writer
Losing his starting quarterback is anything but an ideal situation for Jeff Fisher, but the St. Louis Rams coach is taking it in stride - just as he did last season when the dilemma presented itself.
With Sam Bradford's injury and the Minnesota Vikings' decision to start Matt Cassel under center, Sunday's season opener in St. Louis will instead be a battle between former undrafted free agents rather than one between first-round picks.
Shaun Hill, a 13-year veteran who hasn't started in more than three years, will take the reins for the Rams as they meet a Vikings team that still revolves around Adrian Peterson and its cohesive offensive line.
Bradford tore his left ACL against Carolina on Oct. 20, and the Rams went 4-5 the rest of the way with Kellen Clemens starting and would finish with seven wins for the second straight season under Fisher.
The No. 1 overall pick in 2010 then tore the same ACL in a preseason game Aug. 23, leaving Fisher to again turn to a veteran backup with limited starting experience. He doesn't seem too worried, though.
"I feel really good," Fisher said. "We're ready to play. We've got a young team once again, but we've got a team that has a lot of confidence in itself - and our starting quarterback as well."
Hill, who began his career in Minnesota from 2002-05 after signing as an undrafted rookie, has been in this situation before. He started 10 games for Detroit in 2010 when Matthew Stafford suffered a shoulder injury.
"Life of a backup, you might not go in for a few years, but you have to stay ready," Hill said. "This is not anything new, it's not anything different. I keep the same mindset I've always had."
Cassel also wasn't drafted and got a break in his career with New England in 2008 when Tom Brady suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1. After having some success in Kansas City, he was one of four quarterbacks to start a game for Minnesota during its 5-10-1 campaign last season.
The Vikings drafted Teddy Bridgewater with the last pick of the first round as their quarterback of the future, but Cassel impressed first-year coach Mike Zimmer and new offensive coordinator Norv Turner enough during camp to win the job.
"I've been through a lot in my career," Cassel said. "I've been through the ups, I've been through the downs. I've been through the highs and the lows. At this point nothing really surprises me in my career. Because of those (experiences), it callouses you to a few different situations that as a younger player I might not have taken it as well."
Cassel has some good weapons to throw to in emerging second-year receiver Cordarrelle Patterson and veterans Greg Jennings and Kyle Rudolph, but Peterson will remain the workhorse if he stays healthy.
After rushing for the second-most yards in NFL history in 2012, Peterson dealt with multiple small injuries and a sprained right ankle that forced him to miss two games in December last season. He still rushed for 1,266 yards, fifth-most in the NFL, but it was the second-fewest of his career to the 970 he gained in 12 games before tearing his ACL in 2011.
"It's very important to me to make sure that I'm doing the small things, keeping my body healthy and making sure I make it through the entire season," Peterson said. "I feel pretty good about our chances. I feel like we have all the pieces."
He'll be running behind a familiar offensive line as the group of Matt Kalil, Charlie Johnson, John Sullivan, Brandon Fusco and Phil Loadholt will be the same that has started the past three seasons.
"We're a tight-knit group," Kalil said.
That line will be up against an imposing defensive front for Rams, who boast former first-round picks Michael Brockers, Chris Long and Robert Quinn. Their depth on the defensive line led to the release of seventh-round pick Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted.
Peterson, though, busted through that same line for 212 yards and a touchdown Dec. 16, 2012, in Minnesota's 36-22 win the last time these teams played.
The Rams boast a solid running back of their own in Zac Stacy, who rushed for 973 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games as a rookie last season, and he should carry the load this year.
Fisher, though, may elect to go to the air a bit more in this contest, as the Vikings defense allowed the most touchdown passes (37) and second-most passing yards per game (287.2) in 2013.
Zimmer, the former Cincinnati defensive coordinator who took over for the fired Leslie Frazier, is hoping the success Minnesota had with his new schemes in the preseason will carry over.
"Keep doing the things that we've done in the preseason, we can go out and beat anybody," Zimmer said. "But we have to go out and do them. We can't talk about it."
The Vikings signed former Giants defensive tackle Linval Joseph to a five-year, $31.25 million contract in the offseason, but he was hit in the leg by a stray bullet after the preseason opener. He's on track to play Sunday after returning to practice this week.
Minnesota's offense will be shorthanded, though, as receiver Jerome Simpson will serve a three-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy for the second time.
|Last Updated: 10/22/2014 10:39:27 PM EST|