What the Vikings Do WORST thru 10 Games

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings possess a 6-4 record after Week 10, heading westerly for a date with the Denver Broncos this Sunday night. After razing five straight NFC opponents, Minnesota is now mathematically in command of NFC playoff positioning.

What the Vikings Do WORST thru 10 Games

And while the 2023 campaign still has seven games left, Minnesota has a handful of metrics that need improvement. These are three items where the franchise ranks near the bottom of the NFL.

Vikings Do WORST
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sport.

They’re ranked in no particular order.

1. Running the Football

Youngest Offseason
Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

This is how nasty life is for the Vikings and the ground game:

  • 26th in Rushing TDs
  • 26th in Rush Offense DVOA
  • 27th in Rush EPA/Play
  • 28th in Yards per Rush
  • 28th in RB Break Tackle %
  • 29th in PFF Rushing Offense
  • 29th in Rush Playcall %
  • 29th in Rushing Yards
  • 30th in Rushing 1st Downs

None of that is any good, and the current RB1 + RB2 are injured. Alexander Mattison was concussed last weekend, and Cam Akers tore his Achilles the week before that.

The rushing fix will need implementation soon, otherwise, Minnesota will be bounced out of the postseason prematurely for a second year in a row.

Perhaps Ty Chandler will have the special sauce this weekend at Denver.

2. Defensive 3rd Down %

Aspect of Vikings
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports.

NFL Ranking: 27th

Minnesota allows opponents to convert third down 43.57% of the time, which is sixth-worst in the NFL heading into week 11.

It’s really the only item where the Vikings’ defense currently lags. Everything else, generally speaking, is suitable or downright good concerning Flores’ group.

However, it does need to improve getting off the field on third down. This was an area where Mike Zimmer’s defense habitually thrived — even when the defense wasn’t very good overall (2020 & 2021). Flores has dragged the defense to prominence every step of the way this season; perhaps 3rd Down will be next.

3. Turnovers (Mostly Early Season)

Hockenson Has Proven
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

NFL Ranking: 26th

The Vikings encountered their first game of 2023 sans turnovers last weekend against the New Orleans Saints. Every game before featured a Vikings fumble or interception.

Because the Vikings’ first five games or so showcased turnovers ad nauseam — especially in the 1st Quarter and on the opening drive, they still rank seventh-worst leaguewide after Week 10 in giveaways. The difference, though, is takeaways. Even though Minnesota is still fumbling a ball or tossing a pick here and there, Flores’ defense is grabbing the rock away from opponents, which offsets the giveaways.

Minnesota’s turnovers have largely stabilized, but because of early-season goofiness, they’re still a bottom 10 bunch per the metric overall.


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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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