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Bleacher Report – Vikings

As Chaotic Season Nears Its End, Vikings Still Chasing Milestones

By Vikings – WCCO | CBS Minnesota

By Anthony Brousseau

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you could categorically measure disappointment and wasted potential, this Minnesota Vikings season would certainly set some records.

Amid a season fraught with dumb mistakes, devastating injuries and inconsistent play, though, the Vikings are actually on pace to pass a few real milestones.

Now, not all of them are good — but if this season has taught Vikings fans anything, it’s that you have to take the good with the bad. That said, here are a few milestones within reach for the Vikings.

1st 1,000 Yard Receiver Since 2009

You have to go back 7 years — all the way back to the Brett Favre era — to find the last Vikings receiver to top 1,000 yards. Sidney Rice did it that year as part of a prolific offense. The closest anyone’s gotten was Percy Harvin in 2011, when he had 967 yards. Only one other receiver — Greg Jennings — has gotten over 800.

This year, the Vikings actually have two receivers in position to top 1,000 yards. Adam Thielen leads the team with 960 yards, and Stefon Diggs is not far behind with 903. The duo have actually already made their mark on team history — the team hasn’t had a pair of receivers go over 900 yards since the days of Cris Carter and Randy Moss. That legendary duo had 1,274 and 1,437 yards, respectively, in 2000.

Even against a threadbare Chicago defense in Week 17, it’s unlikely Thielen and Diggs both make it over 1,000. Bradford has been targeting Thielen a lot more recently, and he’s closer to the mark. He’s the safe bet to break the drought.

NFL Record For Completion Percentage

Sam Bradford has had about as good a season anyone could have hoped for, under the circumstances. The Vikings traded for him just before the first game of the season, he made his first start 10 days after joining the team and his offensive line is made up of a series of constantly spinning human tops. Despite all that, he is on pace to set an NFL record held by Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

In 2011, Brees completed 71.2 percent of his passes, the best percentage of all time. Bradford’s currently completing 71.3 percent of his passes — a small difference, but enough for the record.

Now, Bradford would have to complete 72 passes in the final game to tie the number of passes Brees completed. Brees also averaged almost a yard more than Bradford per pass attempt. And Bradford’s high completion percentage is probably due to the Vikings’ dink and dunk offense which doesn’t ask him to throw downfield often.

But still! A passing record! For a Vikings quarterback! That’s like a turtle setting the land speed record!

Fewest Rushing Yards Per Carry

I told you not all of the landmarks would be good ones. When a team starts out 5-0 and then goes 2-8, something has to be wrong.

For the Vikings, it was a lot of things, but the limp rushing attack was certainly part of the problem. As a team, the Vikings are averaging 3.1 yards per carry and 72.1 yards per game. That’s almost 100 less yards per game than the league-leading Buffalo Bills (170.8).

The Vikings haven’t averaged less than 4 yards per carry in over a decade. In 2005, they averaged 3.9.

The worst mark in team history was 3.0 ypc, set in 1978 when the rushing attack was led by an injured Chuck Foreman nearing the end of his tenure with the Vikings.

The Vikings are close to breaking this record, but it’s more likely they finish closer to the second-worst ypc in team history, currently belonging to the 1970 team, which averaged 3.2.

Barring the soul of 2012 Adrian Peterson inhabiting the body of Matt Asiata or Jerick McKinnon, the 2016 rushing attack will certainly go down as one of the worst in team history.

1st 5-0 Team To Finish Below .500

Remember before the bye week, when the Vikings were the last undefeated team and people were talking about them as a Super Bowl contender? Now, they’re not even guaranteed to finish over .500. They currently sit at 7-8.

Since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, only seven teams have missed the playoffs after being the last team to lose their first game. It last happened only two years ago, when the Philadelphia Eagles started 3-0, finished 10-6 and missed the playoffs. The Vikings were eliminated from the playoffs with their loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 16.

The only other team since the merger to start the season 5-0 and finish at .500 or below was the 1993 New Orleans Saints, who finished 8-8. Unsurprisingly, they also missed the playoffs.

You have to think that, in the final game of a season they’d like to put behind them, at home, against the Bears, the Vikings can pull out a win to avoid this black mark on the history books.

But in a season like this, who knows?

Source:: CBS Minnesota

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