In 2019, the Minnesota Vikings had fifteen offensive plays that gained forty yards or more. In the same season, the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons had fifteen plays that gained forty yards or more–combined.
This feels especially unbelievable for a few reasons.
For starters, Kirk Cousins is (for some reason) called a “dink-and-dunk” quarterback by some. He isn’t. Prove it, you say? In the last four seasons, Kirk Cousins leads the NFL in completions of thirty or more yards (95). Dak Prescott, for perspective, has eighty such completions.
Another reason this stat hits hard is that the Vikings are admittedly a run-first offense. Without the presence of, say, Adrian Peterson, chipping off forty yards gains via the rush can be hard to ascertain. In 2019, the Vikings had 11 pass plays of 40-plus yards and four run plays of 40-plus yards.
Lastly, the Saints and Falcons do not exactly have the reputation of sputtering offenses. With Drew Brees and Matt Ryan at the respective helms, one could reasonably expect an avalanche of explosive offensive plays. Nonetheless, the Vikings nearly lapped both franchises combined in 2019.