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Three Stats That Stood Out: Vikings at Packers

The Vikings fell behind the Packers early and fought but finished the day with a 21-16 loss in the 118th Border Battle.

Dalvin Cook rushed for a career-high 154 yards, highlighted by a 75-yard touchdown run that is a new personal best.

The Vikings suffered from a lack of execution in the red zone on offense and defense, and Kirk Cousins shouldered the blame for missed opportunities.

Throw in eight penalties for 100 yards, and it all added up to Minnesota suffering its first loss against Green Bay since 2016.

Here are three stats that stood out:

1. Taking the long way home

According to NextGen Stats, Cook’s scurry through traffic then turbo-button scamper involved the third-year running back traversing 95.1 yards, the longest distance of any play in Week 2.

Cook topped out at 20.39 miles per hour as he zoomed past a diving tackle attempt by Packer safety Darnell Savage.

Cook, who hit 20-plus mph twice in Week 1, now has three such runs on just 41 carries. He reached that speed four total times on 133 rushes in 2018 when he battled a hamstring injury.

2. Improbable completion

NextGen Stats has created a category called “improbable completions,” which takes into account air distance, air yards, receiver separation from defenders and other metrics.

According to analytics, the 45-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Stefon Diggs in traffic had a completion probability of 21.6 percent, making it the sixth least-likely connection in the league in Week 2.

Cousins tried to take a chance to Diggs in the end zone again in the fourth quarter, forcing the ball he let go as he faded away from a defender. The ball was underthrown, and Kevin King nabbed it. NextGen Stats calculated that the play had a 34.4 percent chance of being intercepted and a 27.9 likelihood of being completed.

3. Yards per play

The Vikings finished the game with a whopping average of 7.0 yards gained per play, netting 421 yards on 60 plays.

That average was 2.1 yards per play greater than the 4.9 averaged by the Packers.

Green Bay’s hot start, however, was much different than most of the game.

The Packers totaled 176 yards and 21 points on their first 19 offensive plays, an average of 9.3 yards per play.

After the Vikings adjusted and stopped the bleeding, Minnesota limited Green Bay to 154 net yards on 50 plays (3.1 yards per play) over the course of the Packers final 11 possessions.

Unfortunately, too much damage was done early.

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