Minnesota Vikings Defensive Review: Week 3 vs. Detroit Lions

(Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports)
(Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) /

Following a tough Week 2 outing against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Minnesota Vikings defense was looking to get back on track against the Detroit Lions.  

“Monday Night Football” isn’t usually kind to the Minnesota Vikings, and that was the case again in Week 2. Minnesota’s defense allowed 24 points and 329 total yards in the first half against the Eagles, and that needed to improve.

Heading into their Week 3 game against their divisional rivals, the Detroit Lions, the Vikings had to try and stop a Lions team that now features a highly talented offense. Containing one of the best offenses in the NFL was by no means going to be easy for Minnesota’s defense.

Detroit started the game this past Sunday very strongly, and they were driving down the field at will, scoring two touchdowns on their first three offensive drives. Minnesota quickly buckled up on defense though, stopping the Lions from getting into Vikings territory again for the rest of the half, which allowed Minnesota to tie the game at 14.

Detroit went up 10 shortly after the half, capitalizing on a short field after Vikings kicker Greg Joseph missed a field-goal attempt from 56 yards away.

Down 24-14 in the fourth quarter, Minnesota’s defense needed to make important stops, and they did just that. Just like in Week 2, the Vikings’ defense stepped up in crucial moments to allow the offense the opportunity to get back in the game.

Minnesota was incredible on third down all game as they limited the Lions to just an 18 percent (3-for-16) conversation rate on third down. However, Detroit went for it on fourth down quite often,  and that may have caught the Vikings off guard. The Lions were 4-of-6 on fourth down allowing them to continue their offensive drive multiple times.

Minnesota Vikings defense trending up after win over Detroit Lions

Although the offense will get the praise for coming back and scoring the go-ahead touchdown with less than a minute to go, it was the defense that needed two massive stops to get the ball back for the Vikings.

Minnesota has yet to allow a touchdown in the fourth quarter this season, and even though opposing teams are racking up the yards, they struggle to get in the end zone. In a new system, under new coaching, it will take more time, but the Vikings’ defense is improving.

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