Every Wednesday morning, beat writer Matt Vensel will share five Vikings stats that actually mean something heading into that weekend’s game.
67.7 — combined passer rating for opposing QBs vs. the Vikings
After the Vikings allowed Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota to post an 86.5 passer rating in Week 1, they have held three QBs who have started in a Super Bowl to a rating of 70.7 or less. Eli Manning of the Giants had a 63.3 rating in Monday night’s 24-1o win. At the quarter mark, opposing QBs have completed only 58.2 percent of their passes against Mike Zimmer’s defense with a 3-to-6 TD-INT differential. Only four defenses have allowed a lower passer rating than the Vikings. One of them is Sunday’s opponent, the Texans, who are a smidge better than them with a 67.4 rating.
8 — straight games where the Vikings allowed 17 points or fewer
The Vikings have had one of the NFL’s most consistent defenses over their past eight games, including the playoff loss to the Seahawks, allowing 17 or fewer points in each game. The last time they allowed more was the 23-20 loss to the Cardinals, the Thursday night game when they were without a few defensive starters. Now, I’m typically reluctant to share stats that span multiple seasons, so here’s another telling one from this season only: The Vikings have allowed only 50 points through their first four games, their fewest four-game total to open a season since 1988, per ESPN.
55.6 — Sam Bradford’s accuracy percentage so far on deep throws
The quarterback had another quality outing on Monday night, completing 26 of 36 throws for 262 yards, one touchdown and a 101.9 passer rating. Even with fewer stacked boxes while All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson is on injured reserve, Bradford continues to create chunk plays down the field. He completed a pair of long passes down the left sideline to wide receiver Charles Johnson, totaling 70 yards on those two plays. In all, he completed three of his four throws that traveled at least 20 yards down the field, according to Pro Football Focus. Through three starts, Bradford has hit five of nine such deep throws for 160 yards and a touchdown.
18.7 — percentage of snaps Monday with pressure on Bradford
In addition to getting the running game going Monday night, the offensive line was also vastly improved in pass protection, and it goes deeper than not allowing Bradford to get sacked. The Packers and Panthers were able to generate pressure on 43.1 percent of Bradford’s dropbacks the previous two weeks, per Pro Football Focus. But against the Giants and dangerous defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul, the quarterback was pressured on only 18.7 percent of his dropbacks. The downside was that new left tackle T.J. Clemmings allowed five of the seven pressures.
36 — total offensive snaps for Cordarrelle Patterson on Monday
On Monday night, for the first time since he was still officially a starter two years ago, the 2013 first-round pick played more than 20 offensive snaps in a game. His 36 snaps on offense were more than the wide receiver had in his previous 14 games combined. The last time he was used on offense for that many plays was a loss to the Packers in November of 2014. That was his last game atop the depth chart. Since then, he has been looking up at Johnson, Stefon Diggs and now Johnson again. But by catching five passes for 38 yards in the win and drawing a pass interference penalty in the end zone, perhaps Patterson will earn another significant role on Sunday.