Every Wednesday morning, beat writer Matt Vensel will share five Vikings stats that actually mean something heading into that weekend’s game.
10 — Shaun Hill completions at least 10 yards downfield Sunday
If the Vikings turn to newcomer Sam Bradford at quarterback against the Packers, the biggest difference between the skill sets of Bradford and Hill will be arm strength. Bradford, by far, gets the nod there. But in the win over the Titans, Hill showed that he could do more than just dink and dunk. According to ESPN Stats and Info, the 36-year-old completed 10 passes that were thrown at least 10 yards past the line. Bradford has done that only once in 63 career starts. In all, Hill’s average depth of target was 10.3 yards downfield, seventh among Week 1 passers per Pro Football Focus.
9 — yards after contact for star back Adrian Peterson in Week 1
In one of the least productive games of his career, Peterson rushed for only 31 yards on his 19 carries against the Titans. The blocking in front of him was not great, as he was dropped for a loss on five of those runs. But Peterson also looked tentative at times, perhaps because he again sat out the entire preseason, and was not his typical bulldozing self. He gained only nine yards after contact on 19 carries against the Titans. That average was his lowest since ESPN Stats and Info began tracking that stat in 2009.
4.8 — coverage snaps per reception for Trae Waynes in Week 1
It was unclear heading into Week 1 whether Waynes or Terence Newman would start at cornerback. It turns out both did after the Vikings deactivated Rhodes before the game. The Titans went after Waynes, the 2015 first-round pick, right away and never relented. Waynes, who usually manned Rhodes’ right corner spot, was often matched up against Titans rookie Tajae Sharpe, who beat Waynes for six catches and 64 receiving yards, according to Pro Football Focus. Waynes allowed one catch for every 4.8 snaps in coverage, fourth-worst among cornerbacks in Week 1.
87.5 — percentage of targets caught by wideout Stefon Diggs
Diggs got off to a good start in his second NFL season, catching seven of his eight targets against the Titans for 103 yards. It was his first 100-yard performance since last October. While Diggs was in the midst of a strong training camp, the Vikings vowed to move him all around once the games started to count. According to Pro Football Focus, Diggs caught at least one pass after lining up wide left, wide right and in each side in the slot.
110.2 — Aaron Rodgers’ rating Sunday with 2.6 seconds to throw
The return of Pro Bowl wideout Jordy Nelson was supposed to magically cure a Packers passing game that struggled last season. But against a young Jaguars defense Sunday, Rodgers finished with 199 yards and averaged 5.9 yards per attempt. Still, when his offensive line gave him time or Rodgers used his legs to buy it for himself, he was the same, old Rodgers. On the 19 pass attempts when he had 2.6 seconds or more to throw, he compiled a 110.2 passer rating, per Pro Football Focus. One of those extended plays was the ridiculous touchdown pass he threw to Packers receiver Davante Adams while a Jaguars defender dragged him down by his jersey.