The Minnesota Vikings will host the Cleveland Browns in Week 3, in a battle of 0-2 teams. So one team will leave Mall of America Field with their first win of the season on Sunday afternoon, and since the Browns seem to be looking toward 2014 already the Vikings need a victory more in a game they are expected to win.
Here are some notable numbers to watch and track during Sunday’s game, which I feel will go a long way toward determining who wins.
100- Adrian Peterson will again be the centerpiece of the Vikings’ offense, so 100 or more yards on the ground is a necessity along with 20 or more carries. It would also be nice to see him get involved as a pass receiver.
60- Vikings’ quarterback Christian Ponder has completed just under 59 percent of his passes through the first two games of the season. If he can bump that up to around 60 percent against a tough Cleveland defense, the best offensive performance of the season could come for Minnesota.
40- The Browns will start Brian Hoyer under center in place of Brandon Weeden (thumb), and I think if he has less than 40 pass attempts at the final gun Sunday that is an ideal scenario for Cleveland and a bad sign for the Vikings.
11- Vikings’ rookie wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has only played 11 offensive snaps through two games, and he should easily exceed that number during Sunday’s game alone along with being the team’s kickoff returner.
9.5- The Vikings have allowed a league-high 19 receptions (9.5 per game) to opposing running backs through two games, and correcting that against the Browns’ trio of Willis McGahee, Bobby Rainey and Chris Ogbonnaya will be crucial to putting Hoyer in tough situations.
1- If Ponder’s interception total is higher than one in Sunday’s game, the Browns can win the field position battle and help an offense that lacks talent on paper.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.