The Minnesota Vikings are arguably the hottest team in the National Football League right now.
They are riding a five-game winning streak all while missing multiple players. It’s a massive testament to head coach Kevin O’Connell and his staff for getting the Vikings to succeed on such a high level.
When we take a look at how the Vikings have gotten to this point, there are a lot of positive things that define their success, but these six numbers stand out above the rest.
24: Point differential
Last season, point differential was a major topic of discussion. They finished the season with a negative three point differential despite finishing with a 13-4 record. This season, it’s a different story with the teams performance being significantly better while already having lost four games. It’s a testament to both the players and coaching staff for taking an important step forward.
5: Wins without Justin Jefferson
The Vikings are 5-0 without Jefferson this season.
Yes, you read that correctly.
It’s not an insult in the slightest to Jefferson, who is arguably the best receiver in the National Football League. It’s more a testament to the coaching and depth on the roster. With guys like Brandon Powell and Trishton Jackson getting a lot of snaps over the last few weeks, it has only made the team stronger with their depth moving forward.
8: Pressures allowed on Sunday vs. Saints
The success of the Vikings offense has been fun to watch this season, especially with the turnover. The biggest key to their success has been the play of the offensive line. Yes, Josh Dobbs played well and created some plays off script but he did most of his damage within clean pockets. The offensive line only allowed eight pressures on the day, their best total of the season. This type of performance will take the Vikings to another level.
93.3: T.J. Hockenson's PFF grade vs. Saints
What more can be said about Hockenson that we haven’t already? He came into the week with badly bruised ribs and he got pulverized in the open field consistently. All Hockenson did was set an NFL record with 10 receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown, becoming the first tight end to ever put up those numbers in a single half. If you ever doubted whether or not Hockenson was worth the money, he proved it against the Saints.
-0.139: Defensive EPA/play
The Vikings’ defense has been phenomenal so far this season, but even more so the last five games. The Vikings rank third in EPA/play over the last five weeks and it shows in their performances. They have allowed the following points.
When you consider allowing 28 points to the Falcons, they played well but were put in tough situations with turnovers and stood tough. This is relatively sustainable because they have done so with cohesiveness and discipline.
0.21: Josh Dobbs' EPA/play
The success of Dobbs the last two weeks has been incredible to watch and it’s even more impressive when you look his metrics against the rest of the league.
Dobbs’ success is truly remarkable and its a testament to multiple factors. His EPA/play is astounding and is fourth in the NFL over the last two weeks. Can he keep that going? That is a very interesting question that we will see play out over the next few weeks. Right now, the only word for his performance is impressive.
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