Vikings Defense grade: A
The Vikings defense was ready for their matchup on Monday Night. All week, the talk was about Peterson’s return and how he wanted to prove he was still elite. Well, the Vikings defense put a damper on that talk.
The Vikings rush defense was on their A-game last night holding the Saints to only 60 rushing yards for the game. Peterson had a very quiet game on the field finishing with only six carries for 18-yards.
This was important for the Vikings to stop the run game of the Saints forcing them to only throwing the ball. This allowed the Vikings to sit in coverage and send their pass rushers after Brees.
The Vikings pass rush created havoc on the Saints passing game. The Vikings may only have one sack but had a couple of sacks that were over turn on questionable calls. Tom Johnson recorded a sack but received a roughing the passer penalty for a low hit on Brees.
Another sack that was overturned was when Everson Griffen appeared to jump the snap perfectly but the refs called it off sides instead.
An important stat coming from last nights game was the Vikings red zone defense when they held the Saints to only one touchdown on five opportunities. The Vikings held their ground and made it a difficult time for the Saints and forced them to kick field goals.
To go along with the strong red zone defense, the Vikings did a very a good job of getting off the field on third down. The Saints were only 4 of 11 on third down conversions which is only a 36 percent conversion rate.
The Vikings secondary held their own against one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Most of the passing yards by the Saints came late in the game when they were down by two scores forcing them to pass. The Vikings were content allowing the Saints to complete six to eight-yard passes.
The biggest pass play given up by the secondary was a 52-yard pass by Tommylee Lewis who had beat Trae Waynes. But that was the only time a Saints player got behind our secondary.
This is an encouraging sign for the Vikings secondary to have success stopping one of the elite passing offenses in the league. That has been a weakness of this team but if they continue to play at this level then the Vikings are going to cause a lot of teams’ problems.