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Saturday, December 21, 2013
Numbers Watch: Vikings-Bengals

By Coley Harvey

CINCINNATI -- There is one player on the Minnesota Vikings' roster who the Cincinnati Bengals deem so dangerous that many simply refer to him by his jersey number: 28.

Before some of you start Googling the Vikings' roster, we'll let you know that No. 28 is the running back phenomenon himself, Adrian Peterson.

"The special thing about 28 is he's a special player," Bengals defensive tackle Domata Peko said about the player who currently has 1,221 yards rushing this season, and who last season went over the 2,000-yard mark, one year removed from ACL surgery.

"He can take one long, he can make all the cuts and also, he's a powerful runner," Peko continued. "He has all those aspects that a running back needs."

Clearly, the Bengals will be paying close attention to No. 28. Here are a few statistical numbers you ought to pay attention to ahead of Sunday's contest at Paul Brown Stadium:

5: Number of games the Vikings have lost in their past six trips to Cincinnati.

382: Yards Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel threw for last week against the Eagles, making him the sixth player in NFL history to throw for 380 yards in a game for three different teams. Former Bengals Boomer Esiason and Carson Palmer were among those who also have accomplished the feat.

6: Number of home wins for the Bengals this season. They are 6-0 at Paul Brown Stadium.

6: Number of road losses for the Vikings this season. They are 0-6-1. They haven't gone winless on the road in a season since 2001. This game is their last road contest of the year.

33.2: Points per game the Bengals are averaging in home games this season.

19.4: Points per game the Bengals are averaging in road games this season.

17.2: Points per game opponents are averaging in Bengals home games this season.

21.4: Points per game opponents are averaging in Bengals road games this season.

10: Receptions Bengals receiver A.J. Green needs in order to have the most career catches in NFL history by a single player through the first three seasons of his career. He currently has 249 receptions. That's 19 more than Larry Fitzgerald had and 23 more than Brandon Marshall and Randy Moss at those points of their careers.

259: Receptions Anquan Boldin had through his first three seasons, setting the NFL record for most career catches in a player's first three seasons.

74: Touchdown passes Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has thrown to this point in his three-year career, tying him with Jeff Garcia for the third-most touchdown completions in NFL history through a QB's first three seasons.

20: Field goals the Bengals have attempted this season. That's an NFL low. Kicker Mike Nugent has made 16 of those 20.

71.1: Cincinnati's red zone efficiency. One reason why the Bengals haven't called upon Nugent much this season is because they are the NFL's second-best team at scoring touchdowns in the red zone. Only the Denver Broncos at 78.3 percent have a better red zone efficiency.

504: Plays the Bengals have run with rookie running back Giovani Bernard on the field this year.

402: Plays the Bengals have run with veteran running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis on the field this year.

5.9: Yards per play for the Bengals with Bernard on the field.

4.9: Yards per play for the Bengals with Green-Ellis on the field.

Plus-48.9: The expected points added (EPA) for the Bengals when Bernard is on the field. (EPA measures impact of every play on each team's potential points)

Minus-1.6: The expected points added for the Bengals when Green-Ellis is on the field. Part of the disparity is the result of how the two backs are used in different situations. Green-Ellis is a third-and-short type of runner. Bernard is a scoring downs kind of back.

5: Consecutive home wins the Bengals have over teams from the NFC North.

Information from ESPN Stats & Info was used in this report. Follow on Twitter @ESPNStatsInfo.