Thursday, April 27, 2017

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The final week of the 2015 season has all of the drama we suspected it might when the schedule was released way back at the beginning of the year. A showdown between Green Bay and Minnesota is set to kick off tonight with the division crown on the line.

With such a magnificent ending to the regular season impending we thought it would be nice to again reach east of the border and ask our friends at Packer Ranter another round of questions.

I successfully resisted my urge to ask him five straight questions about the Netflix docu-series Making A Murderer and kept things strictly about tonight’s big game.

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Image courtesy of vikings.com

At the end of a long holiday weekend lies presumably the most anticipated games of the 2015 season. After entering the season with plenty of optimism focused around a lot of rather unknowns, the Vikings have an opportunity to dethrone the Green Bay Packers atop the NFC North.

There is plenty of reason to believe the Vikings have their best chance to do so in long, long time, but after taking a 30-13 lopsided loss in week 11 you have to give pause to consider how the Packers have flat out dominated the series in the last decade.

Many will assume that stopping Aaron Rodgers on defense is priority number one. However, if you look into how the Packers have won this season, you’ll realize finding balance on offense is their key to success.

Believe or not, without stopping the run, the Vikings defense doesn’t stand a chance stopping Rodgers.

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A data dump of interesting stats and splits for the Minnesota Vikings.

Random Vikings Stats Overload - Adrian Peterson December Breath
Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

When it comes to football analysis, I’d say there are three major camps. Some believe you can tell most of the story with stats alone. Another feels stats are meaningless, it’s about what your eyes tell you – it’s about watching the game. The final, and the one I believe I’m a member of, believes the truth falls somewhere inbetween.

I’m not an analytics fanatic and am not a football purist who believes there is no place in the game for data and fancy formulas. I see the value of both and think each is critical to form a well rounded opinion (or hot take!).

But there will be no tape discussion here today. There won’t be any screen grabs or animated gifs of interesting plays. What we are about to have here is a complete data dump.

While other people are on Facebook or Youtube, sometimes I randomly find myself on a site like Pro Football Reference using their play index and looking for interesting nuggets. Like who’s the best quarterback in the league in the 4th quarter on 3rd down with more than 15 yards to go? (Andrew Luck) Or which running back in the league has the most 20+ yard runs in away games? (Doug Martin)

See, isn’t that fun?

So because I get so much enjoyment out of digging for stats, I thought It’d be fun to find a bunch of, what I thought were, interesting nuggets and leave them here. I’m going to do my best to omit any sort of analysis or opinion and instead will leave that to you all in the comments.

However, I will point out some things along the way or further explain what exactly it is we’re looking at.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Yesterday, I talked about how proud I am of what the gang here at Vikings Territory accomplished in 2015, but that was looking at our successes from more of a global view.

Today, I want to take a second to acknowledge what was actually produced, which also serves as a bit of an experiment in measuring what you, the reader, craved most throughout the 2015 calendar year.

These are the ten most read articles VT produced in 2015 if you are interested in taking a trip down Memory Lane:

10. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS PURSUING ADRIAN PETERSON, PER BUCSBLITZ

By Arif Hasan

I don’t want to shock you, but this isn’t the last Peterson-related article you are going to see on this list. He was obviously one of the most scorching offseason topics for the Vikings as a seemingly endless stream of twists, turns, reports, rumors, rumors, reports, turns, and twists kept us all wondering how things would play out.

This report, from Scout.com’s BucsBlitz, is another one of those twists that we can now wonder about in terms of whether or not it was factual.

Ironically enough, it is Peterson and Tampa’s Doug Martin that will race for the NFL’s rushing title this weekend, and one has to wonder how a trade might have played out in the end.

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