It's the Tackling, Dummy

Leslie Frazier knows why the Vikings defense has been disappointing throughout the first half of the season, and now finds itself ranked just 18th in the league:

It’s the tackling.

“We had far too many missed tackles and it really led to some explosive plays that we want to cut down on going into the second half of the season,” Frazier said.  “That’s probably the No. 1 area that we want to improve on. If we can do that, we’ll achieve a lot of our goals.”

Frazier added, “We’re doing some good things with our run defense and think it’s headed in the right in the direction. But our pass defense has to improve, in particular being able to tackle after people make a five-yard checkdown. Limiting the yards after the catch is one thing we keep harping on.”

Getting specific about the Vikings’ shoddy technique, Frazier pointed up the bad angles defensive players have been taking, and noted that guys haven’t been wrapping up as well as he’d like.  What makes this all the more irksome, to me, is that before this season the Vikings were one of the best tackling teams in the league.

So, how exactly does a team go from being notably proficient in a particular area of the game to glaringly deficient?

Laziness, I suspect, is the main culprit.  Which falls partly on the players and partly on the coaches.

At least we know that Frazier is emphasizing this area.  Now it’s up to the players to pay attention to what Frazier is telling them, and clean up the things that need to be cleaned up. Cause the way we’ve been playing defense, if we get the Saints in the postseason…there ain’t gonna be no Super Bowl for the Purple.

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