10 Numbers of Note by 2016 Vikings Defense: Career Highs and a Breakout Season

Posted Jan 9, 2017

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —The Vikings defense ranked among the league’s best units in 2016, finishing third in yards allowed per game (314.9) and sixth in points allowed per game (19.2).

Minnesota routinely frustrated opposing offenses while having a penchant for takeaways at opportune moments. In fact, the first and last touchdowns of the season scored by the Vikings were an interception return by Eric Kendricks and a fumble return by Everson Griffen, respectively.

Here’s a look at 10 numbers of note from the 2016 season:

5.07 — yards per play allowed by the Vikings defense this season, which tied for the fifth-best mark in the NFL.

21.43 — percentage of success on fourth downs by opposing offenses; The Vikings ranked second in the league by stopping 11 of the 14 fourth-down tries they faced.

8 — number of sacks for Minnesota’s defense in Week 3 against the Panthers; Griffen had 3.0 while Hunter, Harrison Smith, Linval Joseph, Anthony Barr and Brian Robison each had 1.0.

Plus-11 — turnover ratio for the Vikings in 2016, which tied for fourth-best in the NFL; Minnesota had 27 takeaways, which tied for seventh-most in the NFL.

126 — number of total tackles (according to the coaches tally) by Kendricks; The second-year player led Minnesota in tackles for the second straight season.

5 — number of interceptions for Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes; The total was a career high for the fourth-year player, who led the team in picks.

4 — number of defensive touchdowns scored by the Vikings this season, the second-most in the league; Hunter, Griffen, Kendricks and Rhodes all found the end zone.

12.5 — number of sacks for Hunter, who was the only Viking to reach double-digits in this category; The second-year player tied for the third-most sacks in the NFL.

23 — percentage of Minnesota’s season-point total allowed in consecutive losses to Indianapolis and Green Bay; The Vikings surrendered 72 of the 307 total points they allowed in Weeks 15 and 16.

9 — number of games in which the Vikings held an opponent to 17 points or less; Minnesota went 7-2 in such games.