3 Stats That Stood Out: Seahawks at Vikings

The Vikings topped the Seahawks 25-19 on Sunday night at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Adam Thielen turned in another impressive grab before he and the starters headed to the sideline, backup quarterbacks Sean Mannion and Kyle Sloter had strong performances, and Brandon Zylstra made the most of his opportunities.

The defense limited the Seahawks on two-thirds of their third downs and kept Seattle’s offense from scoring a touchdown, and the special teams units explored their options with new punter/kicker Kaare Vedvik.

Here are three stats that stood out:

1. Vikings dominate time of possession

Seattle led the NFL in rushing yards per game (160) and ranked sixth in time of possession, holding the ball for an average of 31:15, in 2018.

On Sunday, however, it was Minnesota that controlled the ground game on offense and defense and the clock.

The Vikings outgained the Seahawks 137 to 76 by running 39 times, compared to 23 attempts by Seattle.

Minnesota possessed the ball a whopping 38:10, for a time-of-possession advantage of nearly 17 minutes, which was noted by Head Coach Mike Zimmer during his postgame interview.

2. Good where it matters most — the red zone

Zimmer was frustrated by a couple of third-down conversions, but the overall rates were solid.

Minnesota limited Seattle to 4-for-12 (33 percent) on the critical down and converted 11 of 18 (61 percent).

Those rates can often be pivotal in games, but the Vikings were even better in the red zone on both sides of the ball.

Seattle went 0-for-3 in terms of scoring a touchdown after moving inside the 20-yard line (including 0-for-2 when facing a goal-to-go scenario).

Minnesota scored touchdowns on three of its five possessions inside the Seattle 20 (including 3-for-4 in goal-to-go).

3. 0 sacks allowed — again!

Prior to last week’s 2019 preseason opener in New Orleans, it had been 10 years since the Vikings went through a preseason game without allowing a sack.

The wait for another such game was fewer than 10 days.

Kirk Cousins (two possessions), Sean Mannion (three possessions that included a pass heavy 2-minute drill) and Kyle Sloter (four possessions) played and were not sacked.

Cousins and Sloter utilized more designed movements than Mannion, who worked more from the pocket. Mannion took a couple of hits but got the ball out under pressure.

The revamped offensive line and new scheme deserve credit. It will be interesting to see if the unit can keep it going once defenses get more exotic in the regular season.

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