Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Insight via Statistics--Too Many Penalties

  • Despite having a team consisting of veterans, the Vikings lead the league in penalties and penalty yards. They do, however, have the ability to get big chunks of yards, with 18 passing plays over 20+ yards (the 7th highest in the NFL) and 5 rushing plays over 20+ yards (the 6th most in the league).
  • The Vikings are averaging only 5.58 yards per passing attempt, the 11th worst in the NFL. They are averaging 5.03 yards per carry. Despite having big play threat Bernard Berrian, those stats provide all the reasons you need to know about why the teams are still willing to bring 8 and 9 defenders in the box. One would think that a great offensive mind would be able to figure some way to capitalize on defense's singular focus on the running game.
  • The Vikings once again gave up more big plays on Sunday than they made. That's not a good sign, considering how much correlation there was last year between a team's big play differential and it's success.
  • Kyle Orton has been a good quarterback so far this year. Honestly, that's the part that I just don't understand--Kyle Orton? Good Quarterback? Huh? Anyway, he's thrown 8 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions, has completed 61.6% of his passes and is averaging 6.25 yards per passing attempt. If the Vikings can get to him, however, he'll crumble under the pressure--in each of the two games in which he was sacked more than two times, he threw 2 interceptions. His offensive line isn't anything to write home about either--they're 18th in adjusted sack rate, while the Vikings' defensive line is 10th.
  • Historically, 3-3 teams have made the playoffs 40% of the time. 49% of 4-3 teams have made it, while only 20.2% of 3-4 teams have made it. Football Outsiders give the Vikings a 23.1% chance of making the playoffs, less than half of the chance they give the Packers and Bears, and a decrease of 2.1%. The Vikings may have won that game, but the way they performed did not say good things about their ability to win future games.