Unexpected Vikings Statistics Through 6 Games
The good people over at Pro Football Reference provide the curious writer with a mountain of neat info. Recently, I decided to take a peak at some of their major statistical categories to see how things are going for our purple friends. Below, you’ll find (at least in my humble opinion) the most unexpected Vikings statistics through the opening six weeks of the year.
Sacks Allowed: Currently, Kirk Cousins has only been sacked 9 times. That is tied for 24th in the NFL (alongside some guy named Tom Brady). Remember that being lower on the list is a good thing; no one wants their QB to get sacked a lot. It’s not like our OL has suddenly become competent. Instead, it’s a credit to Kirk for being more decisive and elusive in the pocket. Take a peak at him eluding the strip-sack from Brian Burns in the Week 6 Panthers game. It’s the sort of play he couldn’t make when he first arrived in Minnesota:
Pass Attempts Per Game: Another surprising Cousins fact: he has the fifth-most passing attempts with a per game average of 39.8 throws. There are a variety of reasons for this fact. For starters, he has played excellently, and our team features a tremendous pair of pass catchers. We’ve also been down in some games and been involved in some high-scoring games. As a result, Kirk has had to throw. One could argue he ought to throw it more.
Yards Per Catch: When it comes to how many yards we gain, though, it looks pretty modest. Kirk is all the way down at 10.7 yards per catch, which ranks 26th. So, he throws a lot of short passes. Doing so leads to a lot of attempts and not very many sacks. It all makes sense, in a weird Vikings way. Russell Wilson is in first place with 13.3 yards per catch.
Rushing Yards Per Game: Dalvin Cook is coming in at 3rd overall with a 91.5 yardage average. It’s a number that ought to be higher. Of course, he has been slowed by injury and the OL has often failed to open significant holes. Alas, our elite RB still has plenty of room to grow. That said, I was surprised the number wasn’t more modest. The injury concerns are legitimate.
Receiving Yards Per Game: Justin Jefferson, God bless him, is sixth in the NFL with 90.3 receiving yards per game. Our nemesis Davante Adams is first with 111.3 yards per game. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Jefferson ranks highly, but I thought he would be outside of the top ten due to a couple modest games in the opening weeks of the season. Jefferson, quite evidently, is our team’s #1 receiver. He’s nearly unguardable. Adam Thielen is 30th on the list with a 65.5 yards per game average.
Yards Per Touch: Further evidence to bolster my argument that Adam Thielen needs far more attention in the Vikings offense. He is 9th in the NFL when it comes to yards per touch. In other words, he’s explosive when he actually has the chance to be. On average, Thielen gets us 10.4 yards when he touches the ball. Jefferson is 3rd overall with a 13.2 yard average. It’s somewhat peculiar that Kirk has such a low yards per catch given that his top two receivers are so efficient. The suggestion is that the other playmakers in the offense aren’t nearly as explosive. There is also some suggestion that we ought to target these two WRs even more.
Tackles for Loss: What a difference a year makes. What a difference adding Danielle Hunter, Michael Pierce, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Everson Griffen to a DL makes. Hunter is 9th in the NFL with 6 TFLs. The crazy thing is that Hunter can be even better than he already has been.
Total Tackles: Somehow, he is still underrated. Our stud MLB is fifth in the NFL with 60 tackles. The math wizards in the crowd will tell you that Kendricks is therefore averaging 10 tackles a game. That’s a ton. Harrison Smith is 14th in the NFL with 49 tackles. The next closest Viking, you ask? Mr. Nick Vigil. He is 58th overall with 36 tackles.