Every Wednesday morning, beat writer Matt Vensel will share five Vikings stats that actually mean something heading into that weekend’s game.
1 — NFL players with at least 13 receptions in consecutive games
That honor belongs to second-year wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who caught 13 balls in both the loss to the Lions and the loss to the Redskins. Those two performances rank third in the franchise’s single-game record book behind Rickey Young’s 15 receptions in one game in 1979 and Cris Carter’s 14 in 1994. With 61 receptions on the season, Diggs trails only Antonio Brown, Larry Fitzgerald and A.J. Green. And his 113 career catches before turning 23 rank second in Vikings history behind Percy Harvin.
0.6 — interception percentage for Sam Bradford and the Vikings
The fourth-quarter pick that Bradford threw in the loss to the Redskins was only the second interception he has thrown. As a team, the Vikings have thrown only two interceptions on 316 pass attempts this season, including Shaun Hill’s start in the season opener. That 0.6 interception percentage ranks second to only the Patriots, who are at 0.4 percent. So it’s no surprise that in his eight starts with the Vikings, Bradford has had five games with a passer rating only 100, which is tied for fourth in the NFL.
1 — miss for Kai Forbath in clutch situations from 2012-2015
The Vikings yesterday waived kicker Blair Walsh, who never recovered after missing that 27-yarder in the final minute of the playoff loss to the Seahawks. They will replace him with Kai Forbath, who has been pretty good in clutch situations. During his time with the Redskins, which stretched from 2012 to early in the 2015 season, the kicker twice made game-winning kicks in overtime and was 3-for-3 in the final five minutes of regulation. With the Saints last season, Forbath attempted three kicks in the final five minutes of a one-score game. His only miss was blocked.
16 — teams averaging less than three yards per carry since 1940
The Vikings rank last in the NFL in rushing yards per game at 69.8 and yards per run at 2.7, which is more than a half-yard less than anybody else. They are on pace to have the lowest yards-per-carry average as a team since the Giants in 1953, three years before Mike Zimmer was born. In the Super Bowl era, only three NFL teams averaged fewer than three yards per run over the course of a season, according to Pro Football Reference, and only 16 teams since 1940 have been under three yards per pop.
23.7 — pressure rate for the Vikings D during this losing streak
After totaling a NFL-best 15 sacks in their first three games, the Vikings have had only seven sacks in the past six games. They got to Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins only once in last weekend’s loss. As a result, they have fallen outside of the top 10 in sacks. The pressure has simply not been there for the Vikings, who have pressured opposing QBs on only 23.7 percent of their dropbacks during this four-game losing streak, according to ESPN. That pressure rate ranks 24th in the league over that span.