Each Wednesday, we highlight five Vikings stats that really mean something.
16 — passes of 10-plus yards thrown by the Vikings on Sunday
In the win over the Chiefs, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater pushed the ball downfield more often than he did in the first quarter of the season. In the first four weeks, Bridgewater attempted just 37 passes 10 or more yards beyond the line of scrimmage, completing 21 for 357 yards, according to Pro Football Focus. Against the Chiefs, Bridgewater threw 16 passes at least 10 yards downfield, competing nine for 190 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. It’s too soon to say whether this was a tweak made by the coaches or just the Vikings taking advantage of a favorable matchup.
six — red-zone touchdowns allowed by the Vikings in five games
Last season, the Vikings ranked 18th in the league in red-zone defense, allowing their opponents to score touchdowns on 54.2 percent of their trips inside the 20-yard line. This season, the Vikings have been much better in this important area. After shutting out the Chiefs in their two red-zone trips last week, the Vikings rank third in the NFL, behind the Jets and the Rams, with a red-zone touchdown percentage of 40 percent.
41 — QB pressures generated by Everson Griffen and Brian Robison
The Vikings have gone up against some formidable pass-rushing duos in their past couple of games, but they have one, too. Griffen and Robison, the starting defensive ends, both rank in the top seven among 4-3 defensive ends in total pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. Robison only has one sack, but he has 21 total pressures in five games. Griffen, who sat out last Sunday, has 20 pressures in four games. Only the Seahawks, with Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, have a more productive pair of 4-3 ends.
321 — snaps played by all five starting offensive linemen in 2015
The Vikings offensive line ranks in the bottom half of the league in both pass protection and run blocking in Football Outsiders’ metrics. But believe it or not, the situation could be a lot worse. Losing starters John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt really tested their depth at the position. But the five starters in Week 1 have stayed healthy, playing all 321 offensive snaps this season and preventing the backups’ backups from being tested, too.
one — NFC North road win for the Vikings since the 2009 season
The next two games against the 1-5 Lions and the 2-4 Bears shouldn’t be considered cakewalks considering how things have gone for the Vikings in recent times when hitting the road, especially against their division rivals. According to ESPN, the Vikings are 1-14-1 in NFC North road games since Brett Favre led them to a win at Lambeau Field in 2009 and have been outscored by 181 points. The one win? 20-13 over in Detroit in 2012.