With the Minnesota Vikings 6-2 at the bye week, it’s a convenient time to figure out what individual players are on pace to accomplish. With the season exactly halfway through, all we have to do is multiply by two to get a theoretical stat total for the full 16-game slate.
Here are four notable takeaways from the Vikings’ stat sheet — some good, some bad.
(Look for an article on the defense later in the week.)
ADAM THIELEN’S RECEIVING YARDAGE
On Pace For: 1,254
Adam Thielen’s amazing first half continued against the Browns as he came up just shy of 100 yards. If not for a chop block call that wiped away over a 40-yard gain, he would have been well over the century mark. At any rate, Thielen is on pace for the Vikings’ first 1,000-yard season since Sidney Rice in 2009 (1,312). He’s second in the league in receiving yardage, ahead of A.J. Green, DeAndre Hopkins and Brandon Cooks.
JERICK McKINNON’S TOTAL YARDAGE
On Pace For: 980
On one hand, the Vikings may not have a 600-yard rusher for the second straight year. On the other hand, it’s encouraging that it won’t be occurring because of a historically-poor rushing attack. Rather, multiple backs have stepped up behind a rejuvenated offensive line. Dalvin Cook was effective in his three-plus games as the feature back before tearing his ACL, Latavius Murray had a 100-yard game in Week 7, and Jerick McKinnon has emerged as one of the team’s top playmakers on the ground and through the air. McKinnon has 287 rushing yards and 203 receiving yards — and is third on the team in receptions. That gives him 490 yards total and not far off from a 1,000-yard season in his own right.
LAQUON TREADWELL’S PRODUCTION
Currently: 12 catches, 142 yards
On Pace For: 24 catches, 284 yards
It’s undeniable that Treadwell is having a better 2017 season than he did as a rookie in 2016. But the bar was set pretty low after his one-catch stat line. He’s been used dramatically more this season yet has not discovered the type of consistency needed to become a true focal point of the offense.
Treadwell is on pace for fewer than 25 catches while playing in nearly 60 percent of the team’s snaps. Remember Cordarrelle Patterson, the guy who struggled running routes? He played in less than 42 percent of snaps in 2013 and still managed 45 catches for 469 yards. Stefon Diggs’ rookie season? Sixty-four percent of snaps, 52 catches, 720 yards. It goes to show that speed helps a lot when you play the receiver position. Treadwell’s hands have not been an issue, but his ability to separate continues to be a problem.
On Pace For: 6
Vikings quarterbacks have thrown three interceptions this year, and only the Kansas City Chiefs (zero), New England Patriots (two) and Buffalo Bills (two) have thrown fewer. The crazy thing is that a final total of six interceptions would be an increase from last season, when Sam Bradford’s five interceptions were second in the league. Between Teddy Bridgewater, Case Keenum and Bradford, the Vikings have had a three-year stretch of quarterbacks who value ball control and have thrown a combined 17 interceptions. For perspective, the Baltimore Ravens have thrown 45 interceptions since the start of 2015.
That’s quite a discrepancy.