Vikings OL Ranked #21 In The NFL During 2014 NFL Season


It’s the end of the season, and Pro Football Focus has released their award winners and rankings for the 2014 season.  Included in their evaluations are the Minnesota Vikings offensive line ratings.

Here is how Pro Football Focus ranked Minnesota’s offensive line:

"Pass Blocking Ranking: 25th, Run Blocking Ranking: 17th, Penalties Ranking: 15thStud: He wasn’t at his best but it was still a decent year for John Sullivan, particularly in the run game.Dud: It’s been disappointing to watch Matt Kalil (-29.1) fall from his superb rookie year to what he put on tape in 2014. The good news is his last five games of the year were considerably better and offer hope that he’s healthy and ready to get back to his best.Breakdown: The only pleasant surprise here was the play of Joe Berger when he filled in, but outside of that not one player excelled or played up to their previous best. Was it just a year where injuries sapped their strength? Or has this unit peaked? These are questions we’ll likely find out the answer to in 2015."

Last year, the Vikings offensive line was ranked #6 by in the NFL by Pro Football Focus.  There are several reasons why Minnesota’s big men struggled this year and could have contributed to the much lower grade.  Here are just a few of them:

Nov 3, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Minnesota Vikings guard

Brandon Fusco

(63) and center John Sullivan (65) on the line of scrimmage during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Fusco on IR – Fusco suffered a torn pectoral muscle in the Vikings week 3 loss to the Saints.  When healthy, Fusco is a dominant run blocker and good pass blocker.

  • Phil Loadholt on IR – Loadholt suffered the same injury as Brandon Fusco, only he suffered his in week 12 against the Green Bay Packers.  He is one of the best run blockers in the NFL when he’s at full strength.
  • Injuries to Charlie Johnson – I’m not a huge fan of Charlie Johnson, but he played better than replacement Vladimir Ducasse.  Still, it’s expected to see a decrease in production when backups come in.
  • When Brandon Fusco and Phil Loadholt return to full health for the 2015 season and all the starters are back together, the Minnesota Vikings offensive line should see a huge improvement.  Despite that, fans should expect the team to bring in competition for both the offensive tackle and guard positions this offseason.

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