3 Vikings Stats Must Change This Weekend vs. Kansas City
Through four weeks, the Minnesota Vikings are sitting at 1-3.
After finally placing a notch in the win column, Minnesota gets to celebrate their Week 4 victory with a date against the defending champs this weekend.
However, in order to have a chance against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, the team has plenty of things to fix between now and then. Here is a look at 3 glaringly bad Vikings stats that must change this weekend.
First Quarter Points
Through four weeks, the Minnesota Vikings are yet to score any points in the first quarter of a game. The only other team to do this is the New York Jets.
Of course, Minnesota has had plenty of opportunities to score points early in games, but silly mistakes have cost them. Last weekend, Kirk Cousins threw a 99-yard pick-six on the Panthers’ goal-line, which helped ensure the scoreless streak continued.
Against the Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota won’t be able to get away with this if they want to win. They cannot afford to play catch-up against Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs racked up 17 points in the first quarter last weekend, ensuring they had enough of a cushion to secure their third consecutive victory.
Time of Possession
Not only have the Vikings struggled to put points on the board, but they are far from winning the time of possession battle this year. Minnesota is tied for the third-lowest time of possession through the first four weeks, averaging 26:09 per game. The only other three teams in the same realm as the Vikings are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, and New York Jets.
Last week, the Vikings held the ball for just 21 minutes and 31 seconds despite the win. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are among the top-10 teams in this category, averaging 31:53. The best weapon that the Vikings can utilize against Patrick Mahomes is keeping him off the field as much as possible.
And finally, we get to the statistic that is a big factor behind the first two: the turnover differential. Minnesota has been plagued by some downright goofy turnovers over the first four weeks that have come at the absolute worst times.
Currently, the Vikings lead the league in turnovers with 11, and their turnover differential of -8 is tied for the second-worst in the league, ahead of only the Las Vegas Raiders. As a result, their big turnover problem on offense is amplified by the fact that they are not creating takeaways on defense.
During 2022, the Vikings had their fair share of turnovers (their 23 tied for the eighth-most in the league), but it was slightly buoyed by their defense forcing 25 of their own turnovers, allowing the Vikings to win the turnover battle on a regular basis.
For the Vikings to beat the Chiefs, they simply cannot have any of these silly turnovers, particularly down by the red zone. Giving away points when facing Mahomes is sure to come back and bite them.
NOTE: This article originally appeared on our sister-site, PurplePTSD.com.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.