The Vikings and Rams share a lot of similarities. Both have defensive-minded head coaches who emphasize discipline and want their teams to play with aggressiveness and toughness. Both teams have a young, talented secondary, a dominant defensive line and a strong-legged kicker. But the commonality between these two teams that is drawing the most attention is with the running backs. That's why Adrian Peterson vs. Todd Gurley is the subject of this week's Ticketmaster Hot Matchup.
Peterson is in his ninth season and Gurley is a rookie. But that might be about their biggest difference. Both RBs possess a complete skill set – elite athleticism, a powerful running style and a knack for the big play.
By now, everyone knows Peterson. He rewrote the record book as a rookie and continues to do so today. Peterson, selected No. 7 overall by the Vikings in the 2007 NFL Draft, set the NFL's single-game rushing record as a rookie with 296 yards vs. San Diego and he never looked back from there, even earning NFL MVP honors in 2012. Entering Week 9, Peterson ranks third in the NFL in rushing yards (633), rushing yards per game (90.4) and rushing attempts (140), and he also ranks fourth in runs of 20 yards with six and has three 100-yard rushing games on the season.
Gurley, taken with the No. 10 selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, has also opened his career in impressive fashion. He's the only rookie in NFL history with 125 rushing yards in each of first 4 starts and he has three rushing TDs in the past two games. Gurley ranks fifth in the NFL in rushing yards (575), first in rushing yards per game (115.0) and tied for second with seven runs of 20 yards. The Rams are 3-1 since making Gurley their starter at RB.
An interesting twist to this matchup is that it's the Vikings defense that has a chance to defend Peterson this week. How so? With 95 yards rushing and/or 3 rushing TDs, Gurley will surpass the production Peterson put up in his first six games as a pro.
You have a chance to see this hot matchup first-hand. To purchase Vikings single-game tickets, visit the official NFL Ticket Exchange.