The Minnesota Vikings have some very good players on defense, but why are they playing so badly?
Along with extremely conservative play-calling and lack of tackling in critical situations would be the straightforward answer. Although that pretty much sums it up, there seems to be more as to why the Minnesota Vikings have been unrecognizable from the Mike Zimmer of just a few years ago.
The Vikings rank in the bottom eight of almost every defensive category. They are 27th against the run, 25th in pass defense, and 25th in points allowed, and 27th in total yards allowed. It doesn’t end there; it gets worse when you take an even deeper look into it. The Vikings are 32nd in points allowed in the final two minutes of the half.
In short, the Vikings are absolutely terrible on defense. A lot of that could be put down to the fact that the Vikings’ starting defensive line has been decimated with injury but even before players went out injured the Vikings were leaking yards, especially in the run game. However, until around week five the Vikings were leading the league in sacks.
Minnesota Vikings don’t seem to have a game plan on defense
The Vikings have been reliant on individual moments of brilliance on that side of the ball in order to win games. Whether it is a key Harrison Smith pass break up or Eric Kendricks or Antony Barr getting the crucial sack to stop the other team’s momentum. There seems to be absolutely no cohesion on defense.
If the Vikings were able to stop teams from scoring in the last 2 minutes at the end of each half, they would be unbeaten this season. There seems to be a lack of situational awareness on that side of the ball.
If the defense can be just okay, the Vikings can go on a run and secure a wildcard spot and maybe even go on a run.