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Tuesday (The Vikings have a top-10 offense) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Vikings Updated: December 17, 2013 - 9:37 AM

 

Here are your three crazy stats of the day:

 

1) Where would you guess the Vikings rank in the NFL in terms of points scored? Somewhere from the middle to the bottom, maybe, given their QB carousel and related shenanigans, maybe? Somewhere like 19th?

Wrong. They are 8th.

We were shocked, too. We looked it up casually last night out curiosity, and we're really floored. 8th in the entire NFL in points scored. They are averaging almost 26 points per game, 363 total. Sure, that was skewed/helped by a 48-point outburst on Sunday, but still. That's top 10 in points scored.

2) Of the top 17 teams in terms of points scored, 16 have at least .500 records. Yes, the only one of those 17 that doesn't is the Vikings, who aren't even close at 4-9-1. Of the bottom 15 teams in points scored, only two have records of .500 or better (Miami and Baltimore).

3) If we want to go even deeper, here is what we find out: The Vikings have scored four TDs on defense or special teams this season (two KO returns, a punt return and a fumble return). Three came while Christian Ponder was the QB, and one came in the Josh Freeman game. So in terms of pure offensive output, not taking into account any short fields created by defense or special teams, here is roughly what each QB has produced:

Ponder has played roughly the equivalent of 8 full games (all of at Detroit, at Chicago, Cleveland, at Dallas, both Packers games ... plus three-quarters of Seattle and Washington and half of home vs. Chicago). In his time, the Vikings have scored 209 points. Subtract 21 for the three defensive/special teams TDs, and you get 188 offensive points during Ponder's equivalent of eight games, an average of 23.5 per game.

Freeman played one game and put up ZERO offensive points (the only TD was a punt return in the Giants game) for an average of 0 per game.

Cassel has played about the equivalent of five full games (Pittsburgh, Carolina, Baltimore, Philadelphia, half of Chicago and a quarter of Seattle and Washington). He has accounted for 147 offensive points in the equivalent of five full games, an average of 29.4 offensive points per game.

That pace for Cassel, if it was through the full 14 game schedule, would give the Vikings 412 offensive points. That total would rank them second in the NFL behind the Broncos, without even accounting for any special teams or defensive scores.

That pace for Freeman would be an NFL record, obviously, for futility.

And that pace for Ponder over 14 games, just offensive points, would give the Vikings 329 offensive points. That would rank them 16th in the NFL before other points were accounted for.

The takeaways: In a decent but limited sample size, Cassel is basically worth 6 more offensive points per game to the Vikings than Ponder. The Vikings have given up 425 points -- second-worst in the NFL, just ahead of Washington -- but they have also lost four games by four points or fewer.

Much of Cassel's work, too, has come against tougher defenses. He played the full game vs. Carolina (second-toughest scoring D), a quarter vs. Seattle (toughest scoring D) and a full game in the snow against Baltimore (seventh-toughest scoring D) and a full-game vs. Pittsburgh (15th). Ponder played three quarters vs. stingy Seattle before getting benched. Here are the rest of the games he started and the teams' scoring defense rank: Detroit (16th), Chicago twice (28th), Cleveland (22nd), Green Bay twice (21st), Dallas (26th) and Washington (32nd). 

No wonder Vikings players are tempted to ask "what if" Cassel had been starting the whole season.

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Cincinnati - LP: M. Latos 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 5
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 9 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Greene 4
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 4 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 2
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 8 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Penny 6
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 0
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 2
Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 7
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 3 FINAL
Houston - WP: B. Peacock 8
Chicago WSox - WP: D. Webb 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: L. Oliveros 3
Texas - LP: M. Kirkman 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor 2
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Locke 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 6
San Francisco - WP: G. Kontos 12 FINAL
Colorado - LP: M. Belisle 7
Seattle - WP: J. Paxton 6 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 5
Washington - LP: D. Fister 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 4
Arizona - LP: B. Ziegler 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: K. Quackenbush 2
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
NY Giants 9/8/14 6:10 PM
Detroit
San Diego 9/8/14 9:20 PM
Arizona
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
(25) Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(19) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(18) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(23) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Washington
(14) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(13) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(15) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(7) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(17) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(21) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(12) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(16) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(9) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(21) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(8) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(11) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 13 FINAL
Calgary 28
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 78 FINAL
Phoenix 96

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