Minnesota Vikings 2018 Review: Grading the defense

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter /
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(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The numbers looked great for the Minnesota Vikings on defense, but there was just something missing that held them back in 2018.

In 2017, the Minnesota Vikings had the best defense in the National Football League. With the team at the top of the league in points and yards allowed, the expectation in 2018 was for the Vikings to pick up where they left off and help their improved offense make a trip to the Super Bowl for the first time in over 40 years.

While the offense didn’t live up to their end of the bargain, the defense was not without blame. After having a scot-free season with injury luck in 2017, Minnesota was shorthanded throughout much of 2018.

While some of those voids were filled with players stepping up their game, other holes were left gaping as the Vikings’ veterans could not duplicate their performance from a year ago.

Despite all of that, Minnesota still ranked ninth in points allowed and fourth in total yards allowed in 2018. Still, there seemed to be something missing from Mike Zimmer’s defense this season and that will be a huge topic of discussion as we look back at how the unit was in 2018 and what could be in 2019.