Each Wednesday, we highlight five Vikings stats that really mean something.
7.9 — yards per carry for Adrian Peterson in the fourth quarter
Peterson had another strong fourth quarter in the 20-10 victory over the Falcons last Sunday, including a 35-yard touchdown run that sealed the win. No NFL running back has been more productive in the fourth quarter this season. According to Vikings PR, 373 of his 1,164 rushing yards have come in the final frame. That’s the highest total in the league and nearly 100 yards more than the next guy on the list, Todd Gurley of the Rams. Peterson is averaging a whopping 7.9 yards per carry in the fourth quarter.
25 — yards allowed in coverage by Xavier Rhodes last Sunday
Rhodes has not had that breakout season folks were anticipating after a strong second half in 2014. But after getting beat for a touchdown for the sixth time this season in the Week 10 win over the Raiders, the cornerback appears to have stabilized the past couple of weeks. Against the Packers and Falcons, Rhodes allowed a total of six catches for 75 yards, according to Pro Football Focus. He shadowed Julio Jones for much of the Falcons game and held the NFL’s leading receiver to just 18 yards on two catches. It’s also noteworthy that he didn’t get flagged for a penalty in either game.
25 — routes ran by Kyle Rudolph in the win over the Falcons
After being featured as a receiver in the 30-13 loss to the Packers, the tight end was back to a more of a blocking role against the Falcons. According to Pro Football Focus, he ran routes on 25 of his 60 offensive snaps, blocking on the other 35. That ratio was more like what we had seen before the Packers game, suggesting that Rudolph running routes on 38 of his 54 snaps in that one was merely a byproduct of the Vikings needing to throw the ball down multiple scores. But hey, he made the most of his passing-game opportunities against the Falcons, catching seven of 10 targets for 53 yards.
4.4 — yards per carry when the Vikings use multiple tight ends
I mentioned previously in this space that the Vikings have been using more multiple-TE personnel groupings in recent weeks, adding that it helped boost their running game. So how about some stats to back that last part up? On 181 carries with multiple tight ends on the field, the Vikings have averaged 4.4 yards per carry, according to ESPN Stats and Info. They have fared particularly well when using just one back with multiple tight ends. They have averaged 4.0 yards per carry when using their 12 personnel. When using 13 personnel, they have averaged a league-high 8.7.
two — catches each for Mike Wallace and Zach Line since Week 8
Want to know how bad things have gotten with Wallace? Against the Falcons, the speedy wide receiver was held without a catch for the second straight game and the third time in five weeks. Wallace has just two catches since Week 8, which is as many as Line, a fullback who plays about 15 snaps per game. Eight other Vikings pass-catchers, including three tight ends and three running backs, had more catches than Wallace over that span.