As the Vikings prepare for Saturday’s Week 16 game with Washington at FedEx Field, here’s a look at a handful of eye-opening figures and facts.
Combined interceptions thrown this season by Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman
and Vikings rookie Christian Ponder, the third highest cumulative total among two quarterbacks who will face each other this weekend. Grossman, who has made 11 starts this season, is averaging a pick every 21 passing attempts. Ponder, with eight starts under his belt, has thrown a pick every 22 attempts. The duo has also combined for 26 passing touchdowns and a .567 completion percentage. Panthers rookie Cam Newton and Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman have combined to throw 34 interceptions this season and will meet Saturday in Carolina. San Diego’s Philip Rivers (17 picks) and Detroit’s Matthew Stafford (14) will also meet this weekend and have proven more error-prone overall than the Grossman-Ponder combination.
Carries this season by Adrian Peterson. The star running back’s previous career low for carries in a season was 238 back in 2007 when he was a rookie. Peterson missed three full games and most of another with a high ankle sprain. But he’s had three other games this season in which he hasn’t reached 15 carries as the Vikings fell behind big early to the Bears, Packers and Saints.
Days since Peterson last had a 100-yard rushing output. The last time the Vikings’ running back went over 100 yards on the ground was in a Week 7 home loss to Green Bay when he had 24 carries for 175 yards. Since then? Peterson has 50 carries for 220 yards. This eight-week stretch is his longest drought without a 100-yard game in his career. Peterson went the final seven weeks of the regular season in 2009 without a 100-yard game. He currently ranks 17th in the NFL in rushing yards (932) and third in rushing touchdowns (11).
Tackles this season by Redskins linebacker London Fletcher, most in the NFL. Fletcher also has 1.5 sacks, two interceptions and three forced fumbles. His career high for tackles in a season is 157 set in 2005 while in Buffalo.
The Vikings’ record the past 10 years during the week of Christmas. Last season, they lost 40-14 to the Bears
on Dec. 20 in a game that was moved to TCF Bank Stadium. The team’s last victory the game before Christmas was a 45-20 blowout of Kansas City
on Dec. 20, 2003. The Vikings are 0-3 all-time on Christmas Eve with losses to Cincinnati (27-24 in 1995); Indianapolis (31-10 in 2000); and Green Bay (34-31 in 2004.)
The Vikings’ record against the spread this season, according to predictem.com
. So maybe things aren’t so hopeless after all? The Vikings were 7-point underdogs last weekend at home but fell 42-20 to New Orleans. They head to Washington this week as 6.5-point underdogs. The Redskins, it’s worth noting, are 6-7 against the spread this season.