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Stats that stood out: Vikings at Cowboys

Posted Aug 29, 2015

The box score booklets are about 20 pages these days, but here are three stats that stood out in the Vikings 28-14 win over the Cowboys at Dallas Saturday.

3 total incompletions by four Vikings QBs:

The Vikings were 24-of-27 passing for 209 yards. Teddy Bridgewater went 7-for-7, Shaun Hill followed with a 6-for-8 clip, Heinicke was 11-for-11, and Mike Kafka was 0-for-1 in limited action. 

For perspective, Tony Romo played well with two touchdown drives but had three incompletions on eight attempts. Dallas reserves Dustin Vaughan and Jameill Showers were a combined 7-of-17 passing for 43 yards.

0 third-down conversions:

The good news is the Vikings defense kept Dallas 0-for-10 on third downs. The Vikings started Gerald Hodges at middle linebacker in their base defense, then subbed in rookie Eric Kendricks when they went to the nickel. Hodges and Kendricks had four tackles each, according to press box statistics.

The bad news is the Vikings offense, despite such hot hands in the passing game, went 0-for-11 when trying to convert third downs. Minnesota did convert a fourth-and-1 with a pass from Heinicke to Dominique Williams that gained 19 after struggling in short-yardage situations.

37:34 time of possession:

The Vikings controlled the ball for more time than the Cowboys in each quarter, and that’s with one possession lasting all of 13 seconds because of Cordarrelle Patterson’s blazing 107-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

After keeping the ball more than 16 minutes in the first half, the Vikings gripped it for 12:06 of the third quarter, when they also reclaimed the lead for good with the first of two second half touchdown drives led by Heinicke. Williams scored from 3 yards out in the third, and Joe Banyard added the final score from 7 yards out in the fourth quarter.

Time of possession can be significant for an offense’s rhythm and a defense’s rest, and is a nice counter to a team known for its offense like Dallas (even if the Cowboys big stars didn’t play much).