Numbers Check: Vikings vs Texans
The Minnesota Vikings finally got their first win of the season. By beating Houston on Sunday, the Vikings are, for now at least, back on track towards a decent season. Here’s a look at a few stats that help tell the victory’s tale.
Dalvin Cook rushed 27 times against Houston. Cook was impressive throughout, running all over Houston’s defense and scoring two touchdowns. The method by which he did it is more impressive than anything, though.
He wasn’t getting amazing blocks and running untouched. He went right through each tackle attempt and won many of the battles. I’m not smart or cool enough to know exactly how many yards after contact Cook had today, but by watching the game, I’d bet it’s near half of his 130 total yards.
Kirk Cousins threw the fewest times of any game so far this season, but he also threw for the most yards of any game. How is that possible? Well, he finally felt comfortable throwing a deep ball. He averaged 11.8 yards per attempt this week, over a yard more per attempt than in the week one blowout loss against Green Bay.
The fact that Cook finally ran the ball more this week forced defenses to come up and try to stop the run. This opened up play action opportunities and allowed Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen to get open deep as each receiver racked up over 100 yards receiving.
3 and 6
The Vikings have struggled to keep teams out of the red zone so far this season, and they have struggled just as much at not allowing touchdowns on these red zone attempts. In week three against the Titans, Tennessee had four drives in which they got into the red zone. They scored 20 points off these drives.
The script was flipped in week four. The Texans had three drives in which they got into the redzone, but they only managed six points off these drives.
Sure, these numbers are affected by the fact that Houston had a last minute drive go to the goal line and failed to score, but it’s still a better defense than it has been. The defense overall still wasn’t great, especially in the second half, but this stat is something positive to take away from this win.