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3 Stats That Stood Out: Vikings-Buccaneers

Posted Sep 25, 2017

The Vikings topped the Buccaneers 34-17 on Sunday, taking a lead on the opening drive and seizing control with 21 unanswered points in the middle of the game.

Minnesota improved to 2-1, and Tampa Bay fell to 1-1.

Here are three stats that stood out:

1. Better under pressure and under pressure less

Case Keenum made his second straight start and threw for a career-best 369 yards, which was 202 more than the previous week at Pittsburgh.

There was a significant reduction in the amount of pressure that Keenum faced from the Buccaneers, compared to what the Steelers were able to apply in Week 2. After taking two sacks last week on the road, Keenum wasn’t taken down for a loss in front of the home crowd.

According to analytics site Pro Football Focus, Minnesota’s offensive line surrendered a total of six pressures on 36 passing plays Sunday — three hurries and three hits. PFF determined the “pass blocking efficiency” of the offensive line to be 87.5 against the Buccaneers, a marked improvement over the previous week when the unit was assessed 12 hurries.

PFF calculated that Keenum faced pressure on 30.6 percent of his dropbacks Sunday after confronting it more than half the time in Pittsburgh. Against Tampa Bay, PFF tabbed Keenum as 9-of-11 passing for 114 yards and a passer rating of 109.8.

2. Cook avoiding and after contact

Dalvin Cook rushed 27 times for 97 yards with a long of 26 and his first career touchdown.

PFF credited Cook with forcing six missed tackles on his 27 carries and averaging 3.04 “after first contact.”

The Vikings averaged 3.2 yards per carry in 2016 and have averaged 4.0 yards per carry this season.

Cook also had a big day in the passing game, totaling 72 receiving yards on five catches, and was credited with forcing an additional two missed tackles on pass plays.

3. Run stuffing

The Vikings defense has only allowed 188 yards rushing on 62 carries (average of 3.0 yards allowed per attempt) through three games.

Minnesota limited Tampa Bay to 26 rushing yards on nine carries and did not allow the Buccaneers to earn a first down by rushing.

PFF noted that the “Vikings did not miss a single tackle against the Bucs” a week after the site counted seven missed tackles (six forced by Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell).

The longest run allowed by Minnesota so far this season is 11 yards.

The Vikings rank third in the NFL in rushing yards allowed (62.7) and fourth in rushing yards allowed per carry so far this season.