Minnesota’s defense must win at least one playoff game
In the Vikings recent playoff wins, the defense certainly has not been poor. This is not an indictment of Minnesota’s defense, at all.
Yet, too often in playoff games, the Vikings are reliant on offense-driven heroism. See The Minneapolis Miracle in 2018 or last January’s tryst in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Minnesota has been a defense-first organization since head coach Mike Zimmer arrived in 2014. It’s time for that philosophy to permeate playoff games assertively.
Referring back to the overtime victory in the 2019 NFC wild-card game, the Vikings defense was quite good. It made significant plays to set up the overtime theatrics.
However, in at least one playoff game this year, should Minnesota get there, they must have one lock-down defensive game where the offense can go into figurative cruise control. This generally happens in the very first game on the playoff docket. The Patriots are a team who has shown this repeatedly in the last two decades.
Dominate one playoff game defensively and save the necessary offense-related valor for perhaps the NFC Championship or the Super Bowl itself. Miraculous-feeling finishes tend not to happen beneficially to a team in three to four consecutive playoffs contests, especially for Minnesota. So just shorten the journey.