An 0-2 start is about as bad as it can get for the Minnesota Vikings. They struggled in certain aspects in both of their losses, but there were quite a few aspects of positivity.
Over the course of the first two weeks, there are some really interesting stats that tell us a lot about what the Vikings are and what they can be.
0: Justin Jefferson touchdowns
Look, it’s frustrating that Justin Jefferson doesn’t have any touchdown catches, but it’s also not that big of a deal. The stat itself is inherently random. When Calvin Johnson had 1,964 receiving yards, he had only four touchdowns and was tackled inside the five at least half a dozen times. If you are producing and your offense is scoring points, So far on the season, Jefferson has 20 receptions for 309 yards.
107: Ivan Pace Jr. snaps
The Vikings inside linebacker position is arguably the weakest on the team. It’s so weak that UDFA Ivan Pace Jr. is outsnapping everyone at the position outside of Jordan Hicks. His 107 snaps are more than Brian Asamoah II’s 16 and Troy Dye’s two snaps. That’s both a blessing and a problem for the Vikings team building.
9: Rushing attempts vs. Eagles
Passing the ball is more efficient than running it, but it’s still important to run the ball when it comes to moving the ball down the field and keeping the defense guessing. The Vikings have averaged 5.9 and 6.4 yards per play while not running the ball with any sort of success.
Against the Eagles, they only ran the ball nine times for 28 yards after only running for 41 yards on 17 carries against the Buccaneers. That is going to be a problem.
It’s no secret that turnovers can kill you, and the 2023 Vikings are the epitome of that. They have fumbled the ball seven times on the season with six of them lost. The other one was by Mattison but an offsides by the Eagles nullified it. The Vikings need to figure out how to not turn the ball over and it will fix a lot of their issues.
6.44: Yards per play vs. Eagles
Losing their first two games isn’t fun, but when the offense is playing really well, that’s a huge win. After averaging 5.9 yards per play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Vikings averaged a whopping 6.44 yards per play against the Eagles. That would give you a first down every other play. Really impressive stats from the Vikings and something they can hang their hat on.
4.0: Danielle Hunter sacks
After signing a big contract shortly into training camp, Danielle Hunter has made his presence felt. Over the first two games, Hunter has accumulated 4.0 sacks, nine pressures and nine tackles. He was in the face of Jalen Hurts all night on Thursday and will likely continue to do so all season.