Minnesota Vikings offensive line improving each week


The Minnesota Vikings offensive line has been a constant struggle.  At first, it looked as though the Minnesota Vikings would have four returning starters for their line, but injuries have since made the situation an absolute mess.

Losing Phil Loadholt for the season was a huge blow.  However, nobody could have expected John Sullivan to go down as well and Brandon Fusco to be dealing with injuries as well.  With a rookie right tackle in T.J. Clemmings, a new starter at right guard in Mike Harris and backup Joe Berger holding down center, the Minnesota Vikings offensive line is more of a patchwork project than a strength for this team.

Despite the injuries, Minnesota’s offensive line continues to look better each week.

  • Week 1 vs 49ers:  5 sacks, 8 QB hits
  • Week 2 vs Lions:  1 sack, 2 QB hits
  • Week 3 vs Chargers:  0 sacks, 3 QB hits

Dec 7, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings tackle Mike Harris (79) and guard Joe Berger (61) and center John Sullivan (65) and guard Vladimir Ducasse (62) prepare to block against the New York Jets in the third quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

As these players continue to work together, the line seems to be improving.  Some of that can be attributed to the excellent play of running back Adrian Peterson so far this year, but the fact that this group of pass blockers and run blockers are being successful is a huge testament to the depth on the line and the coaching of the team.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer sees a group that is constantly improving and playing tough football according to an article on Vikings.com.

"“I think they’re getting better every week,” Zimmer said. “There was some plays that we could have done a lot better at, I thought, in the first half than what we did, but I think them continually working as a group, I think T.J. [Clemmings] is getting better every week, Mike [Harris] is getting better, he’s a battler, he’s a fighter and [Matt] Kalil has had a very good season thus far. I like their mentality and where they’re going and how they’re kind of maybe leading this team with the mindset that we’re trying to have and I think Adrian [Peterson] helps that as well.”"

This Minnesota Vikings offensive line will face their biggest test of the season so far when they go up against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.  Denver currently has the #1 defense in the following categories:

  • Yards allowed per game (259.0)
  • Passing yards allowed per game (173.0)
  • Quarterback rating allowed (58.0)
  • Passing touchdowns allowed (1)

And that doesn’t even account for the sacks, where the Broncos have 8 different players registering a sack already this year, where Demarcus Ware is leading the way with 3.5 so far.  In addition to the stellar pass defense, the run defense for Denver is stout as well.  They give up the 6th fewest yards on the ground this year and allow only 3.5 yards per carry.

Hopefully, the Minnesota Vikings offensive line can withstand this test and prove that they are a solid group.  But there’s always the possibility that this talented Broncos defense will take advantage of this depleted Vikings offensive line.  We’ll find out more on Sunday.

Next: Minnesota Vikings 2015 Game By Game Previews

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