Last week: 26 (+14)
The Vikings’ win over the 49ers was no fluke. They rank 8th in the league in yards per play differential and they have a winning record despite no advantage in turnovers +0. The Vikings went 3-13 last year, but had a Pythagorean Expectation of 6 wins and averaged 22.9 points per game, which would have been 16th in the league, in the 9 games Christian Ponder led the team in passing attempts. Ponder has taken a major step forward in his 2nd year in the league, completing 70.1% of his passes for an average of 7.4 YPA, 4 touchdowns, and no interceptions, including 21 of 35 for 198 yards and 2 scores against the 49ers, probably the league’s best defense.
Percy Harvin has emerged not just a legitimate #1 receiver, but one of the best receivers in the league, ranking 3rd in the league in yards from scrimmage by a receiver, now that the coaching staff is utilizing him properly. Kyle Rudolph has emerged as a secondary option. Adrian Peterson has made a miraculously recovery. The offensive line ranks 6th in the league in pass block efficiency thanks to some offseason changes and the defense is better as well now that they’re healthier. Every year a team goes from 5 wins or fewer to the playoffs. The Vikings are the favorites right now and by a good margin after other candidates St. Louis, Washington, and Tampa Bay all lost last week. Of the 7 candidates, only Minnesota is even in the top-24 in yards per play differential.
C John Sullivan: Did not allow a pressure on 41 pass rush snaps, run blocked for 23 yards on 122 attempts
RT Phil Loadholt: Allowed 1 quarterback hurry on 41 pass rush snaps, run blocked for 36 yards on 6 attempts
ROLB Chad Greenway: Allowed 5 catches for 20 yards on 6 attempts, 9 solo tackles, 1 assist, 7 stops, 2 sacks and 1 quarterback hurry on 9 blitzes
CB Antoine Winfield: Allowed 3 catches for 28 yards on 5 attempts, 1 pass deflection, 5 solo tackles, 2 assists, 1 stop
RB Toby Gerhart: Rushed for 18 yards (9 after contact) on 8 carries, 3 fumbles, 2 catches for 20 yards on 3 attempts, 1 drop
RG Brandon Fusco: Allowed 4 quarterback hurries on 41 pass block snaps, run blocked for 9 yards on 2 attempts
WR Michael Jenkins: 1 catch for 8 yards on 5 attempts on 32 pass snaps, 3.0 YAC per catch
RE Everson Griffen: Did not record a pressure on 22 pass rush snaps, 2 solo tackles