Vikings wide receiver Mike Wallace, considered a key acquisition this offseason, didn’t exactly start 2015 lighting the world on fire. That said, his first six games offered at least reasonable production: 26 receptions (on 38 targets) for 292 yards.
It’s not No. 1 wideout production — and Wallace is certainly being paid like a No. 1 WR — but it was acceptable. Projected over a full 16-game season, Wallace’s first six games had him on pace for 69 catches for close to 800 yards. Again, not great but still useful on a team that doesn’t throw the ball a ton.
However, Wallace’s last four games have seen a dramatic drop from even that modest six-game pace. In that span — three of them Vikings victories, at least — Wallace has just two catches for a total of 26 yards. It’s not as though Teddy Bridgewater hasn’t looked Wallace’s way at all, since he does have 14 targets in that span. But yes, just two catches. Two. He didn’t catch any passes Sunday in the loss to Green Bay.
Some of this coincides with the rise of Stefon Diggs, who clearly has a good thing going with Bridgewater as well as a knack for getting open. But still, Wallace’s best game of the year (eight catches at Denver) was Diggs’ breakout game. Wallace had 12 catches in the first three games when Diggs didn’t play, and 14 in the first three games Diggs did play.
Some of it comes from Wallace and Bridgewater being unable to connect on any deep passes. They tried again Sunday, with Teddy overshooting Wallace by about a yard after the WR had a step deep. Wallace’s longest reception this season is a paltry 22 yards. Diggs has 12 catches for 20 yards or more this year; nobody else on the Vikings has more than three.
And some of the recent woes come from dropped passes. Wallace dropped what would have been a first down conversion early in the Vikings/Packers game Sunday, leading eventually to a punt. He’s only been charged with three dropped passes this season, but it feels like they have been recent and costly.
The sum total is a receiver who has practically disappeared from the Vikings offense in recent weeks.