STATS Quick Hits: Lions at Vikings

Adrian Peterson (J.Daniel/Getty Images)

Scout.com's Ed Thompson digs into the detailed numbers and trends from STATS and shares some interesting facts you should know before settling in for Sunday's matchup between the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings.

Detroit Lions

  • Don't count the Lions out when they're faced with a third down situation that requires more than 10 yards. They're currently fifth in the league in converting those opportunities with a 30.2 percent success rate.
  • Detroit's receiver corps is ranked sixth in the league in dropped passes at 11.4 percent - 20 passes out of 175 catchable balls. The league average is 8.4 percent.
  • Quarterback Matthew Stafford is completing 65.5 percent of his passes in the opening quarter, but his efficiency then dips to the 46- to 51-percent range thereafter.
  • Defensive end Dewayne White leads the team in quarterback hurries with nine, while defensive end Jason Hunter leads the way in quarterback knockdowns with six.

  • Calvin Johnson continues to be a big target in Detroit.
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

  • Stafford's top targets, Calvin Johnson and Bryant Johnson, have had 49 passes thrown to each of them. While Calvin has caught just 24 of his chances (49 percent) and Bryant has pulled in just 20 (40 percent), the problem isn't on their end. Twenty of the balls thrown to Bryant and 19 thrown to Calvin were poor throws that were deemed uncatchable. Bryant has dropped just three passes while Calvin has two.
  • Cornerback William James has been the busiest pass defender for Detroit with 53 passes thrown his way. He's allowed 34 catches for a 64.2 percent burn rate and two scores. To James' credit, that rate is the lowest percentage of any defensive back on the team who has had at least 25 passes thrown in his direction this season.
  • Running back Kevin Smith is averaging 4.2 yards per run when he runs wide left, but just 2.6 yards when he runs wide right. He's also gotten off to a slow start in the first quarter of games, averaging just 2.2 yards per carry.
  • Calvin Johnson leads the team in catches that have resulted in a first down with 18 this year. That means that 75 percent of his catches move the chains.

  • Minnesota Vikings

  • Adrian Peterson has converted 69.2 percent of his third-down rushing opportunities while Chester Taylor has been successful just 12.5 percent of the time.
  • No member of the Vikings' offensive line has drawn more than one penalty flag for offensive holding this season.
  • Sidney Rice has been Brett Favre's favorite target on first down with 18 passes thrown his way. He's caught a team-high 14 passes for an average of 12.7 yards per catch. Bernard Berrian has had the second-highest number of opportunities with 16, but he's only caught half of them.

  • CB Cedric Griffin has been tested often by opposing quarterbacks.
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

  • No Vikings defender has been targeted more frequently by opposing quarterbacks than cornerback Cedric Griffin. He's had to defend 46 pass attempts and has allowed 26 completions (56.5 percent).  Linebacker Chad Greenway is second on that list with 33 balls thrown in his direction. He's allowed 23 completions (69.7 percent).
  • Kenny Onatolu leads the team with 13 special teams tackles, followed by Karl Paymah's nine and Heath Farwell's eight.

  • Quarterback Brett Favre has been red hot in his three games against divisional rivals this year. He's completed 74.4 percent of his throws, thrown nine touchdowns, zero interceptions and has a passer rating of 131.4.
  • The Vikings offense is ranked first in the NFL in converting third-down situations of seven yards or more. Their 38.1 percent rate of success is totally due to the passing game, where they've converted 24 of 55 attempts. They've failed to convert on all eight rushing attempts in those situations.
  • One of Minnesota's rare weak spots defensively is in the yards-after-the-catch category. They have allowed a league-worst 1,142 yards after the catch, nearly 55 percent of their total passing yards allowed.
  • Read more about Sunday's matchup at Scout.com's Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions sites.

    You can follow Ed Thompson on Twitter. A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com.

    Statistics referenced in this article are provided by STATS, LLC. Copyright 2009 by STATS, LLC. Any use or distribution of such Licensed Materials without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

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