Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Vikings-Packers: What you need to know
By ESPN Stats & Information
The Green Bay Packers host the Minnesota Vikings at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs. Here are eight notes, nuggets and numbers you need to know heading into the matchup:
The Vikings defeated the Packers to earn a playoff spot in the final week of the regular season. This marks the fifth time over the past 10 seasons that two teams will meet in the Wild Card round after facing off in Week 17. In the previous four occurrences, the regular season winner is 2-2 in the wild-card rematch.
Happy to see you
Adrian Peterson rushed for 409 yards in two games against the Packers this season, including 230 after first contact. No other player had more than 46 yards after contact against Green Bay in 2012 and, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 409 yards are the fourth-most by anyone against one opponent in single-season NFL history.
Lost Lambeau luster
The Packers are just 2-4 in their past six home playoff games after going a 13-0 in the franchise’s first 13 home playoff games. Minnesota will be looking for its first road playoff win since 2004 when it defeated -- you guessed it -- the Packers at Lambeau Field in 2004. That game is the only other time the two teams have met in the postseason.
What ground game?
The Packers have not had a 100-yard rusher since Brandon Jackson in Week 5 of 2010, a stretch of 43 consecutive games. Only three teams have won a Super Bowl without having an individual run for at least 100 yards in at least one game during the regular season. The San Francisco 49ers were the last to do it in 1981.
Aaron Rodgers has completed 78.4 percent of his pass attempts to Randall Cobb this season, the second-highest rate for any quarterback-wide receiver duo with at least 50 attempts (Peyton Manning-Brandon Stokley: 78.9 percent). Cobb did not play in Week 17 but Rodgers went 6-for-6 when targeting Cobb against the Vikings in Week 13.
Peterson attacks the outside
Adrian Peterson averaged 13.7 yards per rush this season against the Packers on carries outside the tackles, accounting for nearly 37 percent of his total yards on such carries against all teams in 2012.
The Packers allowed 7.0 yards per rush outside the tackles overall this season, the second-highest rate in the NFL.
Just for kicks
Vikings rookie Blair Walsh is 35-38 on field goals in 2012, including a perfect 10-10 on attempts of 50 yards or more. His 10 field goals of at least 50 yards are the most in a single season in NFL history. On the other sideline, Packers kicker Mason Crosby missed 12 field goals this season, tied for second-most in the NFL, and was just 2-9 on attempts of 50 yards or more.
Too close for comfort
The Packers are 1-3 in games decided by three points or fewer this season and 6-14 in such games since Mike McCarthy took over as head coach in 2006. Their .300 win percentage is the worst over that span. The Vikings are 14-9 (.609 win pct) in such games over the same stretch, fifth-best in the league, including a 2-1 mark this season.