3 Stats That Stood Out: Vikings at Rams

The Vikings offense scored 31, but the defense allowed 38 to the Rams on Thursday night in Los Angeles.

The loss dropped Minnesota to 1-2-1 on the season, and players had a mixture of emotions. They liked the way they bounced back offensively on a short week with a long trip, but they admit there’s still plenty to fix before returning to action in Philadelphia on Oct. 7.

Minnesota and Los Angeles combined for 1,002 yards, nine touchdowns and four field goals.

Here are three stats that stood out.

1. Not your average first down average

The Rams racked up 301 yards on 30 first-down plays. That’s an average just north of 10 yards per play. The gains ranged from runs by Todd Gurley, who had multiple rushes of 7, 8 and 9 yards on first-down plays, to passes by Jared Goff that went for 36, 19 (touchdown), 47 (touchdown) and 31 (touchdown); the damage was extensive.

The NFL average gain on first downs entering Week 4 was 5.6 yards (15,551 net yards on 2,784 plays by 32 teams).

The Vikings netted 223 yards on 31 first-down snaps for an average of 7.2 that was impressive on its own.

Los Angeles entered Week 4 ranked sixth in the NFL by averaging 7.2 yards per play on first downs, and Minnesota ranked 17th by averaging 5.5 yards per play on first downs.

2. Four touchdowns in 12 plays

The Rams first four touchdowns occurred in the span of 12 plays. An 8-yard touchdown pass from Goff to Gurley started the madness.

The following series was a two-play drive capped with a 70-yard touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp.

After Minnesota forced just the second three-and-out by Los Angeles this season, the Rams put together a four-play drive that ended with a 19-yard touchdown to Kupp before Goff connected with offseason acquisition Brandin Cooks on a 47-yard touchdown.

Add it all up, and the Rams netted 219 yards and 28 points while having the ball for less than four minutes of game time.

3. 50-50 split

The Vikings and Rams each converted 50 percent of third downs in the first half, but the category was quite a contrast.

Minnesota was 5-for-10 before halftime and finished the game 8-for-16, which is a strong rate.

Los Angeles also had a 50-percent rate in the first half, but the Rams faced just two third downs before halftime. The Rams were unsuccessful in converting any of their four third downs in the second half and finished with a rate of 1-for-6 (16.7 percent) that was well below their league-leading average of 54.1 percent on third downs through the first three weeks of the season.

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