Covering Running Backs
The Vikings’ defense was superb versus the Eagles in Week 6. As stated above, they pressured Carson Wentz, stuffed Jordan Howard and the run game, and covered Philadelphia’s receivers like syrup.
The only issue they had was when it came to trying to cover Eagles running back Miles Sanders out of the backfield.
Now Sanders against a linebacker is a matchup the speedy rookie will win every time. But it was a little disappointing to see Minnesota not adjust to it after they got burnt downfield by the running back the first time.
This is a bit nitpicky, but the Vikings should be looking for things like this to improve to ensure they get better as the season wears on.
What makes the poor coverage on the running back a little more concerning is that it was an issue last year too. Minnesota gave up a handful of big plays to opposing running backs when they came out of the backfield last season. Last week was just another instance of this happening.
Granted, not a lot of teams have a back as fast or with as good of hands as Sanders, but it is still an issue the Vikings will want to address moving forward.
Minnesota will need to make the proper adjustments. Whether they need to put a safety on the running back or just change the technique they teach the linebackers in coverage, this needs to get figured out.
It wouldn’t be one bit surprising to see the Lions try to get Kerryon Johnson isolated on a Vikings linebacker on Sunday to see if this is indeed a weak spot in Mike Zimmer’s defensive scheme that can be exploited.