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3 Stats That Stood Out: Vikings-Bengals

The Vikings **clinched their second NFC North** title in three seasons by **starting fast** on Sunday en route to a **34-7 victory** over the Bengals.

Minnesota's **defense dictated** throughout the day in one of its most impressive performances under Head Coach Mike Zimmer. Eric Kendricks **brilliantly returned** an interception 31 yards for a touchdown, and Terence Newman also picked off Andy Dalton.

Case Keenum posted a passer rating of 138.4 and completed a whopping 87 percent of his passes (20 of 23) before making an **emotional handoff** to Teddy Bridgewater.

Jerick McKinnon led a **big day of receiving** by Vikings running backs.

Here are three stats that stood out:

1. Vikings D "for real" against play fakes

The Vikings effectively stopped the Bengals run game in its tracks, allowing just 46 rushing yards on 20 carries.

That success carried a residual effect in the passing game because it prevented Dalton from having success on play-action passes.

Analytics site Pro Football Focus noted that Dalton entered the game using play action on 27 percent of his dropbacks and had a passer rating of 108.1 on throws set up by fake handoffs.

PFF counted that Dalton used play action on 10 of 25 dropbacks Sunday but was just 5-for-9 for 45 yards with an interception and passer rating of 29.6.

2. 91.3 percent accuracy

Keenum's completion percentage of 87.0 is the second-highest by a Vikings QB (Brett Favre 88.0 in 2009) in a game.

PFF determined that his accuracy percentage was even greater, calculating it to be 91.3 percent (21 of 23 throws).

Keenum and the Vikings relied on short throws and yards after the catch on Sunday and found tremendous success.

PFF noted that only seven of Keenum's passes traveled 10 or more yards down the field and only two traveled 20 or more yards.

Vikings receiving targets took the ball and ran with it, totaling 186 of 236 receiving yards after the catch (77.1 percent).

3. Running to the edge

Tight end David Morgan returned to the lineup and helped in the running game.

PFF calculated that the Vikings averaged more yards before contact (2.6) when rushing outside of the tight end than in any other gap.

The Vikings totaled 124 rushing yards on 34 attempts, including 76 yards by Latavius Murray on 20 carries.

PFF noted that Murray averaged 1.6 yards before contact and 2.2 after contact.

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