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3 Stats That Stood Out: Vikings at Seahawks

Posted Aug 19, 2017

The Vikings fell to the Seahawks 20-13 on Friday in Seattle in the second preseason game for both teams.

Seattle scored on its opening possession and never trailed.

Russell Wilson led a pair of touchdown drives. The first was against the first-team defense, and the second was after most Vikings defensive starters had headed for the sidelines.

Taylor Heinicke led the Vikings on a late touchdown drive but it wasn’t enough to complete a comeback.

Here are three stats that stood out:

1. Vikings allowed abnormally high yards per reception

Wilson completed 13 of 18 passes, and five of those gained 20 or more yards, including a long of 37 and a short toss to running back Mike Davis that resulted in a 22-yard touchdown.

The Seahawks averaged 14.1 yards per reception (282 yards on 20 catches) one week after the Vikings limited the Bills to 8.6 yards per reception.

Since Head Coach Mike Zimmer arrived in 2014, Minnesota’s defense has averaged an allowance of 10.1, 10.5 and 10.0 yards allowed per reception in the past three seasons.

2. Bradford to Diggs was great for “ratings”

Sam Bradford and Stefon Diggs connected on four of the five times the quarterback targeted the third-year receiver.

Against one of the stingiest pass defenses, Bradford and Diggs showed confidence in each other. Bradford wasn’t afraid to put the ball in tight coverage, and Diggs wasn’t afraid to go get it. The highlights will feature a 39-yard gain on which Bradford had plenty of time to allow Diggs to find an opening in the defense. The play before, however, was much shorter but equally important.

Facing third-and-3, Bradford put a speedball just past the sticks, and Diggs showed tremendous concentration and toughness despite a converging hit by linebacker Bobby Wagner and safety Earl Thomas for a 5-yard gain to move the chains.

Pro Football Focus noted that Diggs generated a wide receiver rating of 118.8 for Bradford. A wide receiver rating is based on the results of the quarterback rating to a certain receiver, and the duo totaled 65 yards on four catches and five targets.

3. Time of possession

A week after controlling the clock in Buffalo, particularly the third quarter when the Vikings had the ball for 10:54, Minnesota had the ball for just 12:09 in the second half and only 5:55 in the fourth quarter, making it hard to mount a comeback.

The Vikings made it a one-score game at halftime and trailed 14-6 after a 51-yard field goal by Kai Forbath, but rookie Rodney Adams fumbled the opening kickoff return of the second half.

Seattle lost 16 yards on its ensuing four-play possession thanks to sacks by Tashawn Bower and Ifeadi Odenigbo, but Blair Walsh was good from 52 to make it a 17-6 game.

Minnesota had seven possessions in the second half, and three of those lasted less than one minute.