A Struggling Secondary
One aspect of the Vikings’ defense that has looked less than stellar in the first preseason games is the secondary which has consistently allowed big pass plays when the starters have been on the field. Buffalo completed passes with ease against whoever lined up opposite Xaiver Rhodes in game 1 and the Seahawks completed 3 passes over 20 yards with the first team defense on the field last week.
In extended action on Sunday Minnesota’s first team will look to reverse that worrying trend. Their efforts will be buoyed by the returning Trae Waynes and Andrew Sendejo, rendering the unit at full strength for the first time this preseason lining up next to Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes and Mackenzie Alexander.
If instilling confidence is the aim, there may not be a better opponent for the Viking’s secondary to be facing than the visiting 49ers. Kyle Shanahan’s scheme will certainly pose a unique set of problems but Minnesota will be facing career journeyman Brian Hoyer at quarterback and a mercenary group of wide receivers in Pierre Garcon, Jeremey Kerley and track star Marquise Goodwin. On paper this is the least talented group the Vikings have faced so far and their defensive backs should consistently win their individual battles.
In theory the Vikings’ secondary should be able to lock down the 49ers receiving options and allow the monstrous defensive line to do their thing. Should the secondary continue to give up big plays to Hoyer and co questions will be asked, previously secure starting roles could become open to competition and roster moves may have to be made.