The Minnesota Vikings were depleted by injuries heading into last week’s game, but that didn’t prevent them from beating the Philadelphia Eagles fairly decisively (48-30) with quarterback Matt Cassel and third-string running back Matt Asiata leading the way. Week 16 brings another matchup with a division leader, as the Vikings will travel to take on the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals (9-5). The Bengals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers on national television last Sunday night, which hurt their chances to earn one of the top two seeds in the AFC playoffs.
Here are some noteworthy numbers for both teams ahead of Sunday’s game.
406.5- The Vikings are 31st in the NFL in total defense (406.5 yards per game).
318.3- Cincinnati is sixth in the league in total defense (318.3 yards per game), and they are in the top 10 of the league against both the run (fifth; 98.7 yards per game) and the pass (seventh; 219.6 yards per game).
33.3- Vikings’ rookie wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson is averaging a league-best 33.3 yards per kickoff return this season, with two touchdowns as well.
32- The Vikings have allowed a league-high 32 touchdown passes this season.
31- Vikings’ wide receiver Greg Jennings has 31 of his 59 receptions this season with Cassel under center, in essentially 4.5 games, including a single game career-high 11 catches against the Eagles last week. All four of his touchdowns have come from Cassel as well.
30.3- Minnesota is 31st in the league in scoring defense, allowing 30.3 points per game.
27- Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton has 27 touchdown passes this season, which equals his total from 2012 with two games to go.
19.6- Cincinnati is sixth in the NFL in scoring defense (19.6 points allowed).
5- The Vikings have forced five turnovers in their last three games, after forcing just two in the previous seven games combined.
3- Asiata had three career carries heading into last week, and he had three rushing touchdowns against Philadelphia. But with Adrian Peterson (foot) and Toby Gerhart (hamstring) expected to return on Sunday, Asiata will go back into anonymity.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.