Each Wednesday, we highlight five Vikings stats that really mean something.
12 — touchdowns for Doug Baldwin when lined up in the slot
Nickel cornerback Captain Munnerlyn will have his hands full against the Seahawks. He will spend a lot of time across from Baldwin, who was the NFL’s most productive slot receiver during the regular season. Of Baldwin’s 78 receptions, 69 of them came when he lined up in the slot, something he did 79.3 percent of the time, according to Pro Football Focus. Baldwin had a league-high 1,012 yards and 12 touchdowns out of the slot, four more touchdowns than the next guy on the list. He had just 57 receiving yards when lining up on the outside. Munnerlyn, meanwhile, ranked in the middle of the pack among nickel corners in PFF's yards per coverage snap stat.
one — touchdown allowed by Xavier Rhodes since Week 11
After a rocky start to the season, Rhodes has stabilized over the past couple of months. Since Week 11, Rhodes has allowed just 22 receptions for 247 yards and a touchdown in coverage, per Pro Football Focus, and he had that critical pick of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers last weekend. Over that span, enemy quarterbacks had a 75.2 passer rating when targeting Rhodes, which ranked 17 in the league out of 76 qualifiers. In the first 10 weeks of the season, Rhodes had allowed six touchdowns in coverage and a 120.1 passer rating that was worse than all but two qualifying cornerbacks.
28 — touchdown passes for Russell Wilson in his last 11 games
The Seahawks quarterback has been unfairly labeled a game manager by some even though he has now thrown at least 26 touchdown passes in three of his four NFL seasons. He had a career-high 34 in 2015, with most of them coming in his scorching second half. As the great Gil Brandt pointed out on Twitter yesterday, Wilson has thrown 28 touchdown passes in his last 11 games. That is as many as quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has thrown in his entire career, which now spans 28 regular-season starts. Bridgewater, who is making his first career playoff start, still has room to grow, but the Seahawks have a clear advantage at the game's most important position.
nine — total pressures for Tom Johnson against the Packers
Defensive end Everson Griffen was honored by the league for his monster game against the Packers. But Johnson put forth a pretty impressive performance, too. The defensive tackle recorded half of a sack and also had two quarterback hits and six hurries, according to Pro Football Focus. Johnson and Griffen combined for 18 total pressures. Johnson has had a sack in three straight games and is a good bet to get another one on Sunday. In passing situations, he'll often line up against Seahawks left guard Justin Britt, who allowed 37 pressures in 2015, ninth-most among NFL guards.
5.6 — turnovers per game when the temperature is below 10
You might have heard that it is supposed to be really freaking cold Sunday, with the temperature somewhere around zero degrees. History suggests that the frigid weather will result in more turnovers than normal. According to HawkBlogger.com, which did some nice digging into cold weather games, there has been an average of 5.6 turnovers per game when the temperature is less than 10 degrees. Compare that to 5.1 turnovers when it is below 20 and 3.6 when it is below 50. It is also worth noting that passing yards and points scored typically drop along with temperatures. That's another reason to believe the Vikings won't get blown out again this time around.