Each Wednesday, we highlight five Vikings stats that really mean something.
486 — total yards after contact for Adrian Peterson this season
The running back rushed for a season-high 203 yards in Sunday’s victory over the Raiders. It was the sixth time he topped 200 yards in his career, tying him with O.J. Simpson for that NFL record. And more than half of his yards were after contact. According to Pro Football Focus, 125 of his 203 yards came after a defender got their hands on him, including all 80 on his game-sealing touchdown run. Peterson leads the NFL in yards after contact with 486. That is more than all but 19 other backs have in overall rushing, including Carlos Hyde, DeMarco Murray and Marshawn Lynch.
3.59 — seconds, on average, Teddy Bridgewater held the ball Sunday
If it felt like the Vikings quarterback was holding onto the ball against the Raiders for the football equivalent of an eternity, well, it’s because he was. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Bridgewater held the ball for an average of 3.59 seconds. That was the highest total in the league this season by more than one-third of a second and one of the highest totals in recent years. So why was he holding the ball for so long? I don’t have a stat for that. But my eyes told me Sunday that his receivers were often blanketed downfield.
59.8 — opponents’ passer rating when targeting Terence Newman
The veteran cornerback had an awesome game against the Raiders, picking off a pair of passes and breaking up five total throws to earn NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. While those two interceptions were his first with the Vikings, he has quietly been stingy all season. According to Pro Football Focus, Newman has been targeted in coverage 53 times this season. He has been beaten for 30 catches for just 334 yards and no touchdowns. Opponents have a 59.8 passer rating when throwing into his coverage area, which ranks ninth in the NFL. Not too shabby for a 37-year-old.
10 — special-teams touchdowns for the Vikings since 2011
Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson scored on a 93-yard kickoff return against the Raiders, giving him his third career kickoff return touchdown. The touchdown came two weeks after cornerback Marcus Sherels scored on a punt return against the Bears. They are one of two teams that have scored multiple return touchdowns this season, with the other team being the Seahawks. Patterson’s touchdown gave coordinator Mike Priefer and the Vikings their 10th special-teams touchdown since 2011, tops in the NFL.
five — completions of 40-plus yards for Aaron Rodgers this season
The Packers, who lost star wide receiver Jordy Nelson in the preseason, aren’t throwing it deep less frequently without their top deep threat. They’ve actually gone deep slightly more often, according to Pro Football Focus. But their production has not been comparable. Last season, Rodgers was tied for the league lead with 15 completions for 40 yards or more. This season, through nine games, he has just five. In 2014, he had 11 touchdowns on passes through 20-plus yards, per PFF. And in 2015? Just two so far.