Four of the next eight; an upcoming feast? — Four of the Vikings’ final eight opponents are among the NFL’s most careless with the football. That includes Sunday’s game in Washington, where the Redskins have a fumbling problem. Washington leads the NFL with 10 lost fumbles in eight games. Three December opponents — the Panthers (16 turnovers, 3rd-most), Bears (15, t-4th) and Bengals (15, t-4th) — also have a penchant for gifting the football this season.
0.77 sacks per game for Keenum — You’ve heard plenty by now about the Vikings’ revamped run game, which continues to churn out yards despite Dalvin Cook’s absence. Minnesota’s ability to run the ball can be a steady rudder regardless of who starts at quarterback. For now it’s still Case Keenum, and a big key to his success has been staying clean. Keenum has shown good movement in the pocket, taking just five sacks in 6.5 games (5-2 record) behind a stable offensive line and a play caller, Pat Shurmur, using Keenum’s mobility through bootlegs and moving pockets.
110.6 rushing yards on the road — The Vikings run defense is much improved, but it hasn’t traveled quite as well in road games. Keep an eye on that as they play five of the next seven away from home. They’ve allowed an average of 110.6 rushing yards in three road games this season (2-1 record), compared to opponents averaging 63.8 rushing yards at U.S. Bank Stadium.
70 receiving yards per game — The Vikings haven’t had a receiver average at least 70 yards per game since Percy Harvin in 2012. So far, they’ve got two this season in Adam Thielen (78.4) and Stefon Diggs (70.3). The last time Minnesota featured a receiving duo each averaging 70 yards per game: Randy Moss and Cris Carter in 2000.
5-9 vs. the Lions: Plain and simple, the Vikings need to beat the Lions on Thanksgiving at Ford Field if they want to remain in the driver’s seat of the NFC North and be taken seriously. Minnesota’s issues against Detroit are starting to pile up. It goes back farther than 0-3 in the last three games. Since 2011, the Vikings are 5-9 against the Lions (2-5 in Detroit).