Going into the game against Green Bay, the defense knew it would be in for a long day. The defensive line did their job, keeping Rodgers under constant pressure all game long. Anthony Barr and the rest of the linebackers were able to limit the Packers’ running game and cover tight ends.
Last night, the weak link of the defense was the defensive backfield.
Xavier Rhodes was held out for the second straight game because of a knee injury, forcing Trae Waynes into a starting role once again. Across from Waynes was Terence Newman, the 38-year-old corner who is perhaps finally showing his age.
Both Waynes and Newman were repeatedly picked on by Aaron Rodgers, and both gave up multiple penalties that kept the Packers’ offense on the field.
It’s understandable that at some point, Newman will cease to be the ageless wonder, and it’s possible we have seen the beginning of the end for his career.
Waynes, on the other hand, showed decent coverage last night, but he was unable to maintain his position throughout the route. Waynes is still learning to play cornerback in the NFL, and there will still be some bumps and bruises along the way. He was able to redeem himself with the interception that sealed the game for the Vikings, but overall his stock was down for the game.
It will be hard for the Vikings to continue winning ball games with cornerback play like they got on Sunday. If Newman is nearing the end of his career, it will be important for Waynes to step up his game and become the starter across from Rhodes.