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10 Hidden Stats About 2015 Minnesota Vikings

Football is a numbers game.

The most important numerical figures, of course, are wins and losses. But rushing yards, tackles and field goals made are all statistics that pile up over the course of a game, month or season.

The Vikings produced plenty of eye-popping stats in 2015 as they went 11-5 and won the NFC North for the first time since 2009.

But look beyond the box score and there are certainly plenty of interesting numerical nuggets.

Here are 10 fun and funky stats about the 2015 Minnesota Vikings:


— Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater improved in a number of categories in his second year as Minnesota's starter. But he was in elite company in regards to a particular stat.

Of the quarterbacks who started at least eight games in each of the last two seasons (meaning someone like Colts quarterback Andrew Luck isn't included due to injuries), Bridgewater was one of four quarterbacks to improve completion percentage and cut down on the number of interceptions.

Bridgewater's completion percentage rose from 64.4 to 65.3 and he reduced his interception total from 14 to nine. The 23-year-old joined Cam Newton, Tom Brady and Andy Dalton as the only quarterbacks to accomplish that over the past two seasons.

— Wide receiver Stefon Diggs had a strong rookie season. He led the team in catches (52) and yards (720), but the fifth-round pick was especially reliable down the field. According to Pro Football Focus, Diggs caught all six "catchable passes of 20 yards or more" thrown his way.

— Running back Adrian Peterson added to his Hall of Fame career with 1,485 yards and another rushing title. But he also added 11 rushing touchdowns last season, meaning Peterson joined Emmitt Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson as the only three running backs with seven seasons of 10-plus touchdowns. Peterson has 97 career rushing touchdowns.

— Matt Kalil has been the definition of durable since being drafted fourth overall in 2012. The left tackle has started 64 consecutive games and had played every snap until Week 16 of last season. Kalil missed seven snaps against the Giants, the only offensive plays he hasn't been on the field in his career.


— Justin Trattou had a nose for the ball in 2015. Although the defensive end only played 22 defensive snaps (which accounted for two percent of all defensive snaps), he snagged two interceptions (15.4 percent of the team's total of 13). Trattou's pair of picks doubled his tackle total of one.

— Defensive end Danielle Hunter was second among rookies with 6.0 sacks last season, all while being the youngest player in the NFL. Still just 21 years old, Hunter could end up with the most sacks before his age-22 season with another strong year. Baltimore's Terrell Suggs had 12.0 sacks before his age-22 season so Hunter is halfway there.

— The Vikings are among the majority of teams who have seen an increase in the number of nickel and dime packages they run on defense. The sub-packages usually remove a linebacker from the field while adding a defensive back. According to Pro Football Focus, the Vikings fared well in these situations as they didn't allow a single rushing touchdown in these formations on designed running plays.

— The Vikings defense finished fifth in the NFL by allowing just 18.9 points per game. A key reason they were able to limit opponents' point totals was a stout mindset in the red zone. Minnesota allowed a touchdown just 44.19 percent of the time in the red zone, good for fourth in the league.

Special teams

— Vikings kicker Blair Walsh continued to excel on kickoffs in 2015 as he was atop the league in a pair of different categories. Walsh tied for first in both kickoff average (65.7 yards per kickoff) and the longest kickoff at 80 yards. Walsh's lengthy kickoff occurred after a penalty moved the kickoff back from its original spot on the 35-yard line.

— Cordarrelle Patterson was one of the biggest kickoff return threats in the NFL last season. Patterson was the only returner with multiple touchdowns and led the league with a return average of 31.8 yards, which tied for 11th all-time in NFL history.

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