At 10-2 Vikings do 4 things at elite level

Kevin O’Connell

The 2022 Minnesota Vikings, who hold the NFC No. 2, tend to confuse fans with narrow wins rather than blasting the doors off opponents.

And that’s okay, because the franchise is 10-2 (or better) for the ninth time in its 62-season history. The Vikings are on a steady march toward the postseason, just one win away from winning the NFC North.

Kevin O’Connell’s team displays a generally decent to average offense and defense by the most credible metrics. Even on stats like yards allowed for the opposition, the Vikings rank second to last in the business.

But here are four things the club does at elite level.

force sales

NFL Ranking = 4

December 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minn., USA; Minnesota Vikings secure Harrison Smith. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings took away football from opponents 20 times in 12 games. Almost single-handedly, this metric deodorizes the cruel yards granted to opponents. Minnesota grabs the ball through interceptions and fumbles better than 28 other opponents.

In 2021, the team finished 12th in that category, so they just upped the ante with new defensive coordinator Ed Donatell.

The “bad” part here is – what happens when the Vikings stop forcing turnovers? The infamous bend-don’t-break philosophy can be bend-and-break. Donatell and company needn’t worry about that, however, as they continue to enforce 1.7 turnovers per game.

Low penalties

NFL Ranking = 5.

The Vikings offensive line was impressive
09/19/2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings center Garrett Bradbury (56) snaps the football alongside guard Ezra Cleveland (72) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, the Vikings finished 23rd in total penalties. That was the tenth-worst in the league and a new coaching staff seems to have fixed the clinch.

Defending the former coaching staff, Minnesota was pretty fabulous through low penalties from 2014-2021. But the team’s discipline evidently slipped in 2021.

Only the Falcons, Rams, Chiefs and Chargers are penalized less than the Vikings. Minnesota receives an average of five counter-flags per competition.

Prevent own sales

NFL Ranking = 5.

The Vikings 2022 Offense by the Numbers: After Week 6
10/16/2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, United States; Miami Dolphins linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel (43) tackles the Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. Mandatory Credit: Rich Story-USA TODAY Sports.

While Kirk Cousins ​​has thrown more interceptions than usual, his pace has stabilized in recent weeks. Cousins’ interception total was inflated by a poor performance against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2, but the 34-year-old bounced back deftly.

Additionally, Minnesota has lost just 3 fumbles in 12 games of 2022, which helps with interception problems.

The Vikings tend to stretches of offensive futility – why Points and meter are not part of this article – but don’t get sloppy about owning the ball. They flipped the ball 12 times in 12 games. Not bad.

Win tight games

NFL Ranking = 1

Vikings vow to avoid bigheads
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Kevin O’Connell, head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

This one is stunning.

Minnesota is 9-0 in games decided by eight points or fewer. When a game becomes close, the Vikings win. The next best contender by this metric is Philadelphia, a team that has won five games by eight points or fewer.

When the Vikings lose, they lose decisively and embarrassingly; y – see: Eagles and Cowboys. Outside of Week 1, when Minnesota overtook Green Bay by 16, all of the Vikings’ wins are by a point or less.

The team went 12-12 (.500) in one-score games from 2020–2021. In 2022 they are now 9-0. Find out.

Jets CB is trying to clown Justin Jefferson.  Did not work.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday Raun saw and Sal spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed Guilty Pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos’ and The Doors (the band).


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