Vikings quarterback Case Keenum has been on a roll, especially in the last three wins of Minnesota’s seven-game winning streak. Below are five numbers that stand out regarding his play:
8.9 yards:Only Philip Rivers (9.0) is averaging more yards per throw than Keenum’s 8.9 in the last three games, during which he’s posted three of the top 10 passer ratings (121.8 at DET, 100.8 vs. LA and 117.0 at WAS) of his six-year career. Keenum aired it out in Washington with deep strikes to Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. But in the last two weeks, receivers and backs have created after the catch with the longest gains being a 65-yard catch and run for a touchdown by Thielen and a 37-yard screen by Diggs.
2 tipped passes:Defenses are tipping just two Keenum passes per game in the three kickoffs since the bye week. That is a big turnaround from the three games prior to the Vikings bye, when opponents were getting hands on an average of 6.6 throws per game. This is important, in part, because Keenum (6’1″) is one of the league’s shorter quarterbacks and the coaching staff is trying to manage his risk taking. The Browns got a hand on 10 throws, including seven by defenders in the front seven during the Vikings’ Oct. 29 win in London.
6 drops:The four targets accounting for the vast majority (75 percent) of the Vikings’ passing attack — Thielen, Diggs, tight end Kyle Rudolph and running back Jerick McKinnon — have accounted for just six drops this season. That’s a 2.1 percent drop rate that certainly is among the league’s best for an offense. Rudolph is the only tight end with more than 40 targets to have not yet dropped a pass, according to Pro Football Focus.
133.9 rushing yards:Only once in the Vikings’ current seven-game winning streak has the offense not eclipsed 100 rushing yards. They’re averaging nearly 134 rushing yards per game during this stretch, which is pacing an offense that likes to create off play action. Both McKinnon and Latavius Murray have been productive behind an offensive line that is most improved as run blockers. The Vikings are currently fifth in the NFL in time of possession holding the ball for more than 32 minutes per game, which helps the entire team.
5.2 percent:Case Keenum’s sack rate when under duress is, by a significant margin, the league’s best. The Vikings offensive line is much improved, but Keenum should also get credit for his vision and athleticism to avoid would-be disaster scenarios and keep the next down manageable. Whether it’s on Keenum’s decisiveness or the protection, they could still do a better job of keeping him clean. Keenum is the NFL’s sixth-most pressured quarterback at 39 percent, according to Pro Football Focus.