Every Wednesday morning, beat writer Matt Vensel will share five Vikings stats that actually mean something heading into that weekend’s game.
18 — straight games under 400 yards of offense for the Vikings
The Vikings struggled to move the ball again in Monday night’s 20-10 loss to the Bears. They finished with just 258 yards of total offense, their second straight game under 300 after topping 350 yards in their previous two games. Norv Turner’s offense has yet to, however, reach 400 yards of total offense in a game during the past calendar year and the Vikings have only done it once in their past 27 games, including playoffs. The lone time was their win over the Lions at Ford Field last October. For comparison sake, five other NFL offenses are averaging more than 400 yards in 2016.
13 — pressures allowed by T.J. Clemmings the past two games
Against the Bears, Clemmings surrendered a sack and also allowed three quarterback hits and four more hurries, according to Pro Football Focus. So that means the second-year offensive tackle got beaten once in about every five dropbacks for quarterback Sam Bradford. His latest poor performance came eight days after he gave up five pressures in the loss to the Eagles. While it is fair to be skeptical about PFF’s grades, it is worth noting that Clemmings is on pace to receive the lowest grade it has ever given to an offensive tackle. The website's charting of games now goes back a decade.
5 — plays of 20-plus yards allowed by the defense on Monday
The Vikings had been beaten for only 13 plays of 20-plus yards heading into Soldier Field. That was the lowest total in the NFL. The Bears, though, popped them for five gains of more than 20 yards, starting with rookie back Jordan Howard’s 69-yard run in the first quarter. That was the longest gain the defense has allowed this season. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler also had a couple of 34-yard completions and pass plays of 24 and 21 yards. The Vikings must tighten things up in their secondary against the Lions, who have gotten 26 pass plays of 20-plus yards from Matthew Stafford.
5 — sacks for Mike Zimmer’s defense in their past four games
After racking up eight sacks of Cam Newton in the Week 3 win over the Panthers, the Vikings led the NFL with 15 sacks. Since then, they have only five sacks in their past four games. Defensive end Everson Griffen recorded the team’s only sack against the Bears. It was his first since getting a hat trick against the Panthers. Defensive end Danielle Hunter has only one sack the past four games. Nose tackle Linval Joseph has none after getting one in each of his first three games. Sacks aren’t everything when quantifying the impact of the pass rush. But a few Sunday will get the D back on track.
85.1 — yards per game for Stefon Diggs against NFC North foes
Diggs, the second-year wide receiver, has been at his best in divisional clashes. In seven career NFC North games, Diggs has 39 catches for 590 yards and six touchdowns. He has 596 receiving yards in 12 other career games. His best performance to date came against the Packers in Week 2, when he had a career-high nine catches for 182 receiving yards, another career best. So look for Diggs to deliver Sunday against the Lions, against whom he scored his first career touchdown in his rookie season.