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Access Vikings

Breaking news and year-round coverage of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings. Access Vikings is the Star Tribune's blog covering team news, rumors, games and all things purple.

Five Vikings stats that stand out, such as Wallace's inefficient recent stretch

Each Wednesday, we highlight five Vikings stats that really mean something.

0.21 — yards per route run by Mike Wallace the past four games

On Sunday, for the second time in four games, Wallace was held without a catch. He was targeted just twice against the Packers, dropping one pass and not being able to get both hands on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s deep ball on the other. According to Pro Football Focus, Wallace ran 124 total routes the past four games but he had just two catches and 26 receiving yards to show for it. That’s an average of 0.21 yards per route run, dead last in the NFL over that span. On the season, Wallace is averaging 1.04 yards per route run, which ranks 73rd among 80 qualifying wide receivers.

77 — total offensive plays run by the Packers on Sunday

Part of the plan for the Packers game was to rely on running back Adrian Peterson to move the chains, hog the ball and limit the opportunities for Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. But the Vikings weren’t able to do that. They only had two offensive drives that lasted more than six plays and none that had double-digit plays. The Packers, meanwhile, were able to run 77 plays, the most an offense has had against the Vikings defense this season. That resulted in season-high snap totals for five defenders, including nose tackle Linval Joseph and defensive end Brian Robison.

eight — total pressures allowed by Joe Berger this season

The preseason loss of starting center John Sullivan looked like it would be a significant blow for the Vikings. But there has been little drop-off, if any, from Sullivan to his replacement, Berger. The veteran Berger has performed well in both pass protection and run blocking for an otherwise dismal unit. He has been beaten for just one sack and eight total pressures, tied for the fourth-fewest number of pressures among NFL centers, according to Pro Football Focus. Vikings running backs are also averaging 4.4 yards per carry with three touchdowns while running behind Berger.

12 — turnovers for the Falcons in their previous five games

Want the biggest reason why the Falcons have gone 1-4 in their last five games after winning their first five? Turnovers. The Falcons fumbled 10 times in their past five games, losing six of them. And Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw six interceptions, including one of the most inexplicable pick-sixes you’ll ever see last weekend against the Colts. On the flip side, though, the Vikings defense has not created many turnovers recently. Since the bye week, they have just three takeaways, two of them coming in the win over the Raiders two weeks ago. Can they steal a couple more Sunday?

three — consecutive road wins for Mike Zimmer’s squad

The Vikings will take a three-game road winning streak into Atlanta. By beating the Lions, Bears and Raiders, they have won three straight road games for the first time since 2009. Now 3-2 away from TCF Bank Stadium, they are interestingly one of a dozen NFL teams with a winning record on the road at this point. If the Vikings beat the Falcons, it will be the first time they won four straight road games in a single season since 1998, which was the last time the franchise had a winning record on the road, going 7-1.

Access Vikings morning walkthrough: Zimmer keeps Vikings mentally sharp, Favre among Hall semifinalists

Every weekday, we walk you through what’s going on with the Vikings.


—Coach Mike Zimmer often gives the Vikings homework and continually challenges his players to be better students of the game.

— The Vikings travel to Atlanta to face another team riding a three-game losing streak. The Falcons started the season 5-0, but are 1-4 since then. Are they poised to bounce back?

— Quarterback Brett Favre is among five Hall of Fame semifinalists that have ties to the Vikings and/or Minnesota.

— Vikings beat writer Matt Vensel, digital sports editor Michael Rand and columnist Chip Scoggins discuss what went wrong for the Vikings against the Packers and the tough schedule ahead.


— Atlanta’s top-ranked defense will be tested by Vikings veteran star running back Adrian Peterson.

— Can the Falcons fix what is wrong with this team? They’ll have to snap a three-game losing streak to try and regain momentum entering the final quarter of the season.

— Atlanta’s 300-pound offensive lineman Chris Chester gets his jolt from coffee instead of sports drinks or water.


Coach Mike Zimmer and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will be on the podium at 11 a.m. The Vikings will start practice at 1 p.m.


The Vikings had an eight-game home-winning streak that dated back to last season snapped on Sunday by Green Bay, but are still riding another streak. They’ll play for their fourth consecutive road victory this Sunday at Atlanta. The Vikings have already won more road games this season (3-2) than they did in Mike Zimmer’s first year as head coach. They were 2-6 on the road in 2014. Their final three trip this season are Atlanta, Arizona and New York, all three currently leading their respective divisions.

Final, 11/22 1 2 3 4 F
Green Bay 7-3 6 10 3 11 30
Minnesota 7-3 6 0 7 0 13

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