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
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
Defensive end Dewayne White leads the team in quarterback hurries with nine,
while defensive end Jason Hunter leads the way in quarterback knockdowns with
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.
Calvin Johnson continues to be a big target in Detroit.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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
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.
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.
CB Cedric Griffin has been tested often by opposing quarterbacks.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Read more about Sunday's matchup at Scout.com's Minnesota
Vikings and Detroit Lions
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