Analysis

Vikings at Broncos By the Numbers

NFL Preseason: Week 1 - Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos

A weekly look at how the Minnesota Vikings match up against their opponent by the numbers. See how the offensive and defensive units compare to the rest of the league while viewing the offensive leaders, defensive leaders, and noteworthy stats involving this week’s game.

Vikings football is back! Well, just about. In only two days the defending NFC North Division Champions will take on the Denver Broncos in each team’s first preseason game of the year. Although it’s only the preseason, there are some interesting storylines surrounding the matchup.

The Vikings and Broncos had very opposite 2017’s. Minnesota finished the regular season 13-3, won the division, beat New Orleans in the divisional round of the playoffs and fell one game short of reaching the Super Bowl.

Denver, on the other hand, had a down year. Under first-year head coach Vance Joseph the Broncos struggled to a 5-11 record and finished last in the AFC West. Trevor Siemian, Denver’s leading passer from last season, is now the backup quarterback for the Vikings.

The new man tasked with leading the Broncos back to the playoffs for the first time since 2015 is none other than former Minnesota quarterback Case Keenum. With Keenum at the helm the Vikings were 13-4 including the playoffs and the regular season win at Chicago. Will he be able to repeat the magic for Denver?

The Vikings made their opinion on Keenum known this offseason when they decided not to bring back the 30 year-old. Instead they opted to go big (at least financially) and put their trust in a quarterback that had not been given that courtesy by his former team. Kirk Cousins is the guy that’s been entrusted to lead Minnesota to the first Super Bowl title in franchise history.

Lofty expectations right? Well, such is life in the NFL, especially when you’re making a fully guaranteed $84 million.

On Saturday night we’ll get a sneak preview of how each team has changed over the course of an eventful offseason. Until then, let’s take a look at how the teams stack up by the numbers.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

The Vikings away record in 2017 was 6-3 including the playoffs.

2017 offensive ranks:

Total offense = 11th (356.9 YPG)
Passing = 11th (234.6 YPG)
Rushing = 7th (122.3 YPG)
Scoring = 10th (23.9 PPG)

2017 defensive ranks:

Total defense = 1st (275.9 YPG)
Passing = 2nd (192.4 YPG)
Rushing = 2nd (83.6 YPG)
Scoring = 1st (15.8 PPG)

Returning offensive leaders:
  • Passing – None
    • (QB Kirk Cousins: 4,094 yards with 27 TD’s and 13 INT’s)
  • Rushing yards – RB Latavius Murray: 842
  • Rushing TD’s – RB Latavius Murray: 8
  • Receiving yards – WR Adam Thielen: 1,276
  • Receiving TD’s – WR Stefon Diggs and TE Kyle Rudolph: 8
Returning defensive leaders:
  • Tackles – MLB Eric Kendricks: 113
  • Sacks – DE Everson Griffen: 13
  • Interceptions – S Harrison Smith: 5

DENVER BRONCOS

The Broncos home record in 2017 was 4-4.

2017 offensive ranks:

Total offense = 17th (324.1 YPG)
Passing = 20th (234.6 YPG)
Rushing = 12th (115.8 YPG)
Scoring = 27th (18.1 PPG)

2017 defensive ranks:

Total defense = 3rd (290.0 YPG)
Passing = 4th (200.6 YPG)
Rushing = 5th (89.4 YPG)
Scoring = 22nd (23.9 PPG)

Returning offensive leaders:
  • Passing – QB Brock Osweiler: 1,088 yards with 5 TD’s and 5 INT’s
    • (QB Case Keenum: 3,547 yards with 22 TD’s and 7 INT’s)
  • Rushing yards – RB C.J. Anderson: 1,007
  • Rushing TD’s – RB C.J. Anderson: 3
  • Receiving yards – WR Demaryius Thomas: 949
  • Receiving TD’s – WR Demaryius Thomas: 5
Returning defensive leaders:
  • Tackles – LB Brandon Marshall: 106
  • Sacks – LB Von Miller: 10
  • Interceptions – DB Darian Stewart: 3

Noteworthy Stats

OFFENSE

  • Third-down conversion percentage – Vikings: 3rd (44%), Denver: 15th (39%)
  • Red zone percentage – Vikings: 9th (57.9%), Denver: 32nd (39.6%)
  • Turnover ratio – Vikings: +5, Denver: -17

DEFENSE

  • Third-down conversion percentage – Vikings: 1st (25.2%), Denver: 2nd (31.6%)
  • Red zone percentage – Vikings: 3rd (40.0%), Denver: 23rd (58.5%)
  • Passing yards and TD’s allowed to opposing QB’s – Vikings: 3,291 yards and 12 TD’s, Denver: 3,385 yards and 29 TD’s
  • Rushing yards and TD’s allowed to opposing RB’s – Vikings: 1,095 yards and 7 TD’s, Denver: 1,289 yards and 8 TD’s
  • Receiving yards and TD’s allowed to opposing WR’s – Vikings: 2,244 yards and 9 TD’s, Denver: 1,852 yards and 14 TD’s
  • Receiving yards and TD’s allowed to opposing TE’s – Vikings: 591 yards and 3 TD’s, Denver: 1,023 yards and 9 TD’s

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Sean Borman

Sean Borman is a writer with Minnesota roots that's still somehow an optimist. He was an intern with the Vikings during college and previously wrote for Rant Sports. You can find Sean on the golf course and on Twitter @SeanBoarMan.

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