Vikings Report Card: First quarter of the 2019 season

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Eric Kendricks
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Eric Kendricks /
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(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /


It’s been a bit of a strange year so far for the Vikings defense. They started out on fire against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1, shutting them down and creating a couple of turnovers.

Then they went on the road to Lambeau and immediately gave up 21-straight points to the Green Bay Packers with very little resistance. They did make some adjustments and played well enough the remainder of the game to give Minnesota’s offense a chance to come back and win, but they couldn’t pull it off.

Then in Week 3, they went back to being a dominating presence and shut down the Raiders offense and tormented their quarterback, Derek Carr.

In Week 4 at Soldier Field, they started out slow, giving the Chicago Bears’ underwhelming receiving corps a ton of space and allowing Chase Daniel time in the pocket to find them. Like they did in Lambeau, the Vikings’ defense eventually buckled down and held Chicago to 16 points, even after the offense put them in some very tough spots.

So to grade this unit is a little bit tricky. They have had some injuries in the secondary which forced some very young and inexperienced corners on the field. That may have been part of the issue in Green Bay.

On a positive note, the pass rush has been very good led by a rejuvenated Everson Griffen and the always impressive Danielle Hunter. Eric Kendricks has also been a beast all year and Eric Wilson has filled in admirably at a couple of positions.

They have been a little undisciplined as a unit through the first four games and need to clean up the penalties that keep extending their opponents’ drives.

Grade: B

Minnesota’s defense has played well enough for this team to be 4-0. They could use some more big plays though and they need to convert on those turnover chances that they get. The defense also needs to play a little cleaner, but if they keep playing the way they have been, the Vikings should be in a good spot at the end of the year.