A well-rested Vikings defense is an effective Vikings defense
That's the message emerging via three weeks' worth of data, after the Minnesota Vikings' defense racked up three turnovers in a 34-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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Their defense was on the field for just 53 snaps Sunday after playing 74 snaps in a Week 2 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and 62 snaps in the season opener.
The offense played their part well -- they were on the field for a season-high 74 snaps -- but the defense came through in critical situations, holding Tampa Bay to just one third-down conversion on six attempts.
Andrew Sendejo, Harrison Smith and Trae Waynes intercepted quarterback Jameis Winston, whose Buccaneers spent much of the game playing from behind.
Of the group, Smith and Sendejo are the stalwarts, and appeared on all of the Vikings' defensive snaps for a third consecutive week.
Other notes from Sundays snap counts:
-- Latavius Murray remains a nonfactor through the first three games of the season. He was on the field for just eight snaps in Week 3, finishing with just two carries for five yards.
-- Dalvin Cook continued to see heavy usage, appearing on 53 percent of offensive snaps this week and carrying the ball a career-high 27 times.
-- Cook's workload remains among the league's largest. Only Todd Gurley (Los Angeles Rams, Week 3) and Jay Ajayi (Miami Dolphins, Week 2) have logged more carries in a single game this season.
-- Fullback C.J. Ham continues to carve out a niche for himself, and logged a season-high 30 percent of the offensive snaps.
-- The Buccaneers took to the air for much of the game but were ineffective on the ground when they tried to run, carrying the ball a combined nine times for just 26 yards.
GAME 3: BUCS (OFFENSE)
GAME 3: BUCS (DEFENSE)