20 Brief & Essential Facts: Vikings-Jets

20 Brief & Essential Facts: Vikings-Jets
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

Each week, VikingsTerritory details 20 statistical or interesting facts about the upcoming Minnesota Vikings game. This week’s edition involves the New York Jets, who are three-point underdogs facing the Vikings in Week 13.

The game is on December 4th, 2022, at noon pm CST at U.S. Bank Stadium.

These are the 20 random facts to know about Vikings-Jets:

Why the Vikings Must Beat the Jets
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports.

1. The Jets defense ranks fourth in the NFL per defensive EPA/Play, only trailing the Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, and New England Patriots heading into Week 13 — all teams the Vikings have played (or will play) in a row.

2. When Sunday’s game kicks off against the Jets, Harrison Smith will have played as many games as a member of the Vikings (155) as Chad Greenway (155) and Everson Griffen (155).

3. Also, when Sunday’s game begins, Danielle Hunter will have played more games as a member of the Vikings than Jared Allen.

4. Through 11 games, the Vikings offensive line ranks 11th-best leaguewide per Pro Football Focus.

5. The Vikings magic number for the NFC North is now two. Any combination of two wins or two Detroit Lions losses (combined) hands the Vikings the NFC North for the first time since 2017.

6. Several intertwining storylines of Vikings-Jets past relationships are evident for Sunday:

  • Kirk Cousins nearly joined the Jets via free agency in 2018.
  • The Vikings gifted the Jets a 4th-Round draft pick for TE Chris Herndon in 2021.
  • Minnesota’s trade with New York in April 2021 enabled the franchise to draft Christian Darrisaw.
  • Former Vikings Tyler Conklin, Mike Remmers, Chazz Surratt, and Dru Samia play for the Jets.
  • The Vikings ultimately landed cornerback Kris Boyd in 2019 courtesy of a draft-day trade with New York.

7. The Jets haven’t beaten the Vikings since 2010 but hold an 8-3 (.727) all-time head-to-head advantage over the Vikings.

Jets Provide a Familiar Situation for Vikings
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports.

8. Justin Jefferson is on pace for 1,904 receiving yards and 9 total touchdowns.

9. Minnesota has a > 99% chance of reaching the playoffs, per FiveThirtyEight. The Jets are at 55%.

10. If the playoff started today, the Vikings would host the Washington Commanders at U.S. Bank Stadium in the wildcard round. Tunneling down the stretch of the 2022 season, Minnesota will very likely face the Commanders, Giants, or Seahawks in Round 1 of the postseason — assuming the Vikings maintain hold of the No. 2 or 3 seed.

11. Good things happen (sort of) every time the Vikings win on Thanksgiving:

1969: Reached Super Bowl
1987: Reached NFC Championship
1988: Reached Divisional Round
1998: Reached NFC Championship
2000: Reached NFC Championship
2017: Reached NFC Championship
2022: We Shall See

12. If the Vikings topple the Jets, they will have swept the AFC East in 2022, widely considered the best division in all of football.

13. Per opponents’ wins and losses before Week 13, the Vikings have the NFL’s sixth-easiest remaining schedule:

Chiefs (.371)
Ravens (.385)
Panthers (.400)

Falcons (.411)
Rams (.433)
Vikings (.434)
Browns (.440)
Buccaneers (.443)
Chargers (.447)
Lions (.449)
Steelers (.449)

14. The Vikings defense ranks 32nd in the NFL in passing yards allowed.

Wrong Narratives and Other Week 12 Takeaways
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

15. According to Pro Football Focus, the Vikings best player at the moment is Justin Jefferson, with an 89.7 grade. Until this week, the top dog was Christian Darrisaw.

16. The Jets are the NFL’s fourth-worst team on offensive 3rd Downs (34.4%), although much of the stat is attributable to Zach Wilson, who was benched a week ago.

17. The Vikings come-from-behind victories at the start of the 4th Quarter are new:

Vikings Wins,
When Trailing at Start of the 4th Quarter:

2018-2021 = 3
2022 = 4

18. The NFL record for most wins in a single season when trailing at the start of the 4th Quarter is six, held by the 1999 Colts and 2011 Cardinals. The Vikings have four such wins in 2022, with six games remaining on the schedule.

19. T.J. Hockenson has more catches (26) than any TE in NFL history in the first four games with a team. The trade was probably worth it.

20. Folks worried about extending Dalvin Cook in the summer of 2020 because of his injury history. But Cook has played 87% of all football games in the last four seasons. For now — crisis averted.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).