5 nightmare scenarios for the Minnesota Vikings in 2022

(Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports) Harrison Smith
(Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports) Harrison Smith /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter /

Switch to 3-4 base defense backfires

One of the most intriguing factors behind the Vikings in 2022 will be their switch to a 3-4 base defense. Ed Donatell’s arrival as the team’s new defensive coordinator could be the catalyst behind some improvements, but everything must click into place immediately for this objective to be met.

From a personnel standpoint, the 3-4 system seems to fit in well with Minnesota’s options. Danielle Hunter’s return to health and the signing of Za’Darius Smith from the Green Bay Packers in free agency could give the Vikings a prolific pass-rushing tandem if both manage to stay healthy for the entire campaign, which is no guarantee based on recent history.

There could be room to grow within the front three on the defensive front and the secondary might progress. But there is also a scenario where things don’t necessarily go according to plan with such a landmark change in ethos.

Minnesota’s players were used to a far different approach under Mike Zimmer. So it’s a situation worth keeping an eye on, at the very least.

Fans will be hoping for a smooth transition to the 3-4 base scheme. Something that would help the Vikings’ cause enormously against some high-class offenses on the schedule.

If things don’t go well, then it represents a problem that the offensive side of things might not be able to overcome.