Shamar Stephen – DT
The Vikings have plenty of issues on their defense. They couldn’t generate a pass rush in Week 1 and they also couldn’t cover any Green Bay Packers receivers.
While they were a little better in those areas against the Colts, they were far worse in stopping the run. Indianapolis rookie Jonathan Taylor ran for over 100 yards on 26 carries, which was just about four yards a pop.
The bad news for Minnesota was that most of Taylor’s yardage was gained through the middle. It falls on the big shoulders of Shamar Stephen to be the one to clog up the lanes and he wasn’t close to being up to the task for the Vikings in Week 2.
Stephen was once a very good run stuffer, but those days seem like eons ago, as he now offers little resistance to opposing linemen.
Stephen was easily moved out of the way by the interior of the Colts line, which gave the young Taylor ample room up the middle. This is a major area of weakness on the Minnesota defense and it’s one that future opponents will surely look to exploit.
The good news for the Vikings is that the Indianapolis offensive line is arguably the best in the league and they won’t be facing that type of elite talent every week.
The bad news is that Minnesota doesn’t have a better option on their roster, meaning they’ll have to roll with Stephen the rest of the season and hope and pray he improves after what he showed in Week 2.