It’s not okay to overreact about the defense
If someone were to say the Vikings’ first-team defense could have played better on Friday against the Saints, they wouldn’t be incorrect. However, the performance from Minnesota’s defensive starters is nothing to lose sleep over.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer would have loved for his first-team defense to force a three-and-out, but instead they ended up being out on the field for a total of 15 plays. New Orleans only got three points from the drive, but it took over eight minutes off of the clock.
Just like their offense though, Minnesota’s defense wasn’t about to run anything more than a pretty vanilla scheme on Friday night. Vikings linebackers Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr played a bunch of zone coverage and Minnesota only sent more than four pass rushers once out of the eight pass plays the Saints ran on the drive.
The Vikings did miss a few tackles that Zimmer will probably be in their ears about during practice next week. But there’s nothing from the performance of Minnesota’s first-team defense on Friday that should be a big concern.