Notebook: Vikings Do Good By Goode

Vikings coach Brad Childress hangs his offensive philosophy on a telling statistic from Bud Goode's football insight. The Vikings' ability to win just a few key statistics helped them edge Washington by three points on the road in front of 90,608 fans.

For many, it's known as a commitment to the running game.

For Vikings coach Brad Childress, it's a near certainty that his team will win if he can rush the ball 30 times and complete 20 passes. According to statistician Bud Goode, who Childress referenced in the preseason, teams that use that combination of rushing attempts and pass completions win 95 percent of their games.

"This is one of the Goodeisms that he's known for," Childress said when questioned about his running game in the preseason. "It's not the quality of the rush, it's the quantity of the rush. It's not the quantity of the pass, it's the quality of the pass."

The Vikings got a passing grade on the rushing front but not in the completions category.

On the quantity of the rush, they exceeded the mark. Chester Taylor alone rushed 31 times, assisted by three additional runs from Mewelde Moore and quarterback Brad Johnson. The quality of the rush wasn't always there, as the Vikings averaged only 2.5 yards per run. Conversely, the quality of Washington's running game was better, with a 4.1-yard average, but the Redskins only rushed 25 times. The Vikings won the quantity of rushes.

The Vikings also won with Goode's "Killer Stat" – yards per pass attempt differential. The Vikings gained an average of 7.2 yards per pass attempt while the Redskins had a 5.8-yard average, a Minnesota advantage of 1.4 yards per attempt. That would put the Vikings behind only the Indianapolis Colts (2.4), Pittsburgh Steelers (2.3) and Carolina Panthers (1.7) of last year – all strong playoff teams – and tie them with the 2005 NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks.

In the Vikings' 19-16 win Monday night, Goode got it right and the Vikings got the win.


What Vikings fans saw in the second half of last season and the general NFL crowd got to see Monday night was Johnson's game management skills.

In a contest that had no turnovers and few other statistics that went decisively in the Vikings' favor, Johnson was often dealing with third-down situations that called for a pass. He handled them beautifully.

The Vikings were 9-for-17 (53 percent) converting third-down plays while the Redskins were only 4-for-13 (31 percent). A whopping 15 of the Vikings' 17 third-down plays were passes and they converted on eight of those with an average pass play of 11.93 yards.

Although Johnson's 88.6 passer rating beat Redskin Mark Brunell's 76.9, Johnson ranks only 12th among the league's quarterbacks in that category after one week. But it was his ability to get it done on third down that helped give the Vikings a victory.

Only the Indianapolis Colts' 68.75 third-down conversion rate was better than the Vikings' 53 percent efficiency.


The Vikings also won the battle of red zone efficiency, getting into the end zone one out of two times they were inside the 20-yard line, while the Redskins only got one touchdown in four tries inside the red zone.

Many of the other statistics were close, but one the Vikings clearly lost was the punting battle. The Vikings had a net punting average of 28.4 while the Redskins were at 37.6. The Redskins' large advantage there wasn't the fault of the Vikings' return game. Mewelde Moore averaged 13.5 yards on two punt returns, compared Washington's Antwaan Randle El averaging 9.3 yards on three punt returns.

The Vikings also beat the Redskins in kickoff return average. Troy Williamson had a 24.5-yard average on four attempts – including a 44-yard return – while Washington averaged 21 yards per kickoff return.


The Vikings deactivated QB Brooks Bollinger, WR Maurice Mann, RB Artose Pinner, S Dwight Smith, S Rashad Baker, LB Marquis Cooper, OL Ryan Cook and TE Jeff Dugan. QB Tarvaris Jackson and OL Mike Rosenthal dressed but did not play.


The Vikings had three straight three-and-out possessions in the second quarter, with those three drives only using up a combined 5:41 of game time. On their next drive, they used six plays in 1:05 game time to kick a half-ending field goal and pull within three points.

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