The Vikings won another very close game, 27-22, against the New York Jets. The ‘defense gave up a lot of yardage, but almost every time the Jets got close to the endzone, Ed Donatell and the rest of the staff tightened their defense and got stops. As a result, the Jets had to settle for five field goals, and the Vikings got two interceptions. Minnesota punted a total of 6 times, but they could still account for three TDs and two FGs on the day.
1. Third Down Efficiency Was Not Great By Either Team
Both offenses struggled to convert their third downs as the Jets finished under 20% on their conversion rate, and the Vikings finished at 50%. This inefficiency by the Jets ultimately cost them the game as they settled for field goals instead of going for touchdowns on 4th down.
2. Total Yardage Was A Deceptive Stat In This Game
The Jets finished the game with 486 yards compared to Minnesota’s 287. However, the defense seemed to get significantly tighter and more effective every time the Jets got into the redzone. The total time of possession was almost even, but the Jets had 17 more plays on offense.
3. Vikings’ Pass Rush Was Effective But Not Necessarily Deadly
The Purple and Gold finished with only one sack on the day, but they compiled eight QB hits. Mike White never looked comfortable in the pocket, which is why he threw the two interceptions.
4. Vikings’ Defensive Backfield Looked Good At Times And Awful At Times
When Mike White threw for 369 yards against your team, you did not do a great job defending the pass. However, the front seven did a decent job of stopping or slowing down the Jets’ run game.
I imagine that a lot of this was due to the return of Dalvin Tomlinson. They gave up a lot of yardage, but they also finished the two INTs, and 13 passes defended. In addition, they raised their game to another level every time the Jets got inside the redzone.
5. Eric Kendricks Looks Comfortable In This New Scheme
Earlier in the year, Kendricks seemed to be slightly uncomfortable with this new scheme. However, he racked up 14 total tackles in this game and was consistently where he needed to be to make the play.
6. The Starting Safeties Excelled
Harrison Smith and Camryn Bynum both made plays all day long. They finished the game with 15 total tackles, five passes defended, and two INTs between them. They made the plays when they needed to and were able to step up and fill gaps in the run game as well.
7. Greg Joseph Made All Of His Kicks, Including A 51-Yarder
Greg Joseph seemed to put his kicking troubles aside as he finished the game without any missed kicks. He made two field goals and three extra points, so he was not a liability this week. Let’s hope he can continue this level of performance for the rest of the season.
8. Kirk Did Not Necessarily Win This Game, But He Did Not Lose It Either
Kirk finished the game 21 of 35 for 173 yards, one TD, and zero INTs. These were not crazy stats by any means, but it was enough to secure the victory. He did have a couple of longer completions of 38 and 25 to Jalen Reagor and Adam Thielen, respectively.
9. Vikings’ Run Game Kept The Jets Honest
The Vikings did not put up incredible stats regarding their run game, but they did account for two of the three Minnesota touchdowns. They finished the game with 29 carries for 128 yards and forced the Jets to take the play-action fakes seriously.
10. Minnesota Continue Their Dominance Of Close Games
Nine of the Vikings’ ten wins came in games that were decided by eight points or less. Their only victory by more points was the 23-7 victory over the Packers for the first game of the regular season.
While it would be nice to see them blow out their opponents, it is impressive how well they have done in close games this season. They have shown that they are not going to give up at any point and will give everything they have
This Vikings’ victory was not necessarily a pretty or decisive win by the Vikings, but it was a win nonetheless. It gets their record up to 10-2 on the season, and they could wrap up the NFC North title this week even though there are still five weeks left in the season. This defense can sometimes be frustrating to watch, but they have been able to make plays when needed.
Please keep coming back to stadiumrant.com for all of your NFL news needs.