Every Wednesday morning, beat writer Matt Vensel will share five Vikings stats that actually mean something heading into that weekend’s game.
21.9 — points per game given up by the defense since Week 8
In their embarrassing blowout loss to the Colts this past weekend, the Vikings were ripped for 34 points and 411 yards, which were both the highest totals they have allowed this season. It was the latest not-so-great performance from a defense that early on looked as if it could end up being the best in the league. Since their loss to Chicago in Week 8, the Mike Zimmer-led Vikings have given up an average of 21.9 points per game, which would currently rank 14th in the NFL, and they have allowed 336.3 yards per game over that eight-game span, which would be 11th in the league. So much for the notion that this is still a great defense.
153 — passing yards for Andrew Luck between the numbers Sunday
The Colts were able to pile up points and yards against the Vikings by staying away from outside cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes and Terence Newman and attacking the middle of the field, often out of multiple-TE formations. According to Pro Football Focus, Luck completed 14 of his 17 pass attempts between the numbers for 153 yards. Eric Kendricks and the Vikings linebackers were targeted 12 times, allowing all of them to be completed, including the 27-yard touchdown by Colts tight end Erik Swoops when he was isolated on veteran Chad Greenway. Rhodes and Newman, meanwhile, were beaten for only three catches for 17 yards, per PFF.
14 — more catches that Kyle Rudolph needs to set a Vikings record
With 66 catches, fourth among NFL tight ends, and two games left to play, Rudolph has a chance to set a single-season Vikings record for receptions by a tight end. With six more, Rudolph will jump over Jermaine Wiggins and Steve Jordan to move into second all-time on the franchise list. If he gets to 80 catches on the season, he will supplant Joe Senser, who had 79 catches for 1,004 yards in 1981, atop the list. At 670 receiving yards, though, it seems unlikely that Rudolph will catch Senser in that category.
71.6 — completion percentage for Sam Bradford, a would-be record
Bradford has completed 71.6 percent of his passes in 2016. That puts him on pace to set a single-season record for completion percentage. The current record is 71.2 percent by Drew Brees in 2011. At the very least, Bradford, barring a couple of inaccurate outings, will remain above the 70-percent mark. There have only been six previous instances where a QB has been above 70 percent in a season. Bradford’s current yards-per-attempt average of 6.9 would be the lowest among the 70 percent club.
10 — sacks for Everson Griffen in 14 career games against the Packers
Griffen has had some of the best performances of his career against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Last time at Lambeau, the defensive end sacked Rodgers twice as the Vikings held off the Packers to take the NFC North title. He has at least one sack in each of his last three games against the Packers. Griffen also had a hat trick against them in the final game of the 2012 regular season. In 14 games against Green Bay, including playoffs, Griffen has recorded 10 sacks, his highest career total against one team.