4 most disappointing Vikings in the win over the Saints in Week 4

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Johnny Mundt
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Johnny Mundt /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Ed Donatell /

Ed Donatell – Defensive Coordinator

The Vikings’ Achilles Heel this year has been the defense. While he isn’t on the field making the plays, Minnesota defensive coordinator Ed Donatell is the one creating the alignments and schemes and ordering the coverages and blitzes.

What we’ve seen so far is a Vikings defense that gives way too much of a cushion to receivers in coverage, and a front seven that can’t stop the run. Minnesota is also failing to generate a consistent pass rush even with having two stud bookend edge rushers in Za’Darius Smith and Danielle Hunter.

Despite these inefficiencies, the Vikings are somehow 3-1, and that is likely the reason there isn’t a lot of heat surrounding Donatell’s future with the club.

What was very disheartening against the Saints in Week 4 was that Minnesota’s woes continued despite facing a very depleted offense. New Orleans was without starting quarterback Jameis Winston, starting running back Alvin Kamara, wide receiver Michael Thomas, and offensive lineman Andrus Peat. Even with all these guys missing, the Saints ran for 111 yards, being led by a running back who was on the practice squad a week ago.

Yes, these are still professional players, but the ease at which the B-team Saints offense moved down the field to take the lead in the fourth quarter, and even again at the end of the game to get into field goal range is alarming.

Donatell needs to do a better job game-planning and then adjusting his game-plan at the half. Minnesota isn’t going to be able to keep winning if the poor play from the defense continues.

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