Minnesota Vikings Defensive Review: Week 4 vs. the New Orleans Saints

(Photo by Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports) Za'Darius Smith
(Photo by Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports) Za'Darius Smith /

In Week 4, the Minnesota Vikings traveled to London to take on the New Orleans Saints. The defense looked to build on a solid game in Week 3.

The defense of the Minnesota Vikings has been frustrating at times this season, but it has also kept them in games long enough to get the win.

In Week 4, the Vikings traveled to London, England to take on the New Orleans Saints. Minnesota was coming off a game in Week 3 that saw them limit the Detroit Lions to 24 points and a third-down conversion rate of just 18 percent.

However, the Saints presented a different problem for the Vikings even though they had a lot of key players out with injury. Coming into the game, New Orleans was 1-2 and struggling, but they were not a team that would be easy to defeat by any stretch.

Minnesota Vikings defense comes up with plays when needed vs. New Orleans Saints in Week 4

Minnesota’s defense absolutely dominated the first half against the Saints in Week 4. Apart from a single touchdown drive on a short field that took 12 plays and went 60 yards, New Orleans struggled to do much of anything on offense.

In the first half, the Saints had five offensive drives. Three of those drives ended with the Vikings forcing a three-and-out, and another ended in a fumble recovery after a strip sack by defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson. Minnesota allowed just 77 yards in total offense in the first half.

The Saints got going on offense in the second half, however, as the Vikings forced just one punt in the final two quarters of the contest. Minnesota’s offense failing to get the ball in the end zone and settling for field goals kept the game close. Two successive drives of 75 yards or more led to touchdowns for New Orleans, giving them their first lead of the matchup.

The game was a lot closer than it should have been, but the Vikings’ defense did its part. Minnesota’s defense made the Saints work for their points.

Could the Vikings’ defense be tighter and bring more pressure? Of course, but Minnesota is only allowing 20 points per game this season, which ranks 12th in the NFL.

The Vikings still need to improve in a lot of areas, but considering this is a new team in a new system, there are plenty of reasons for optimism for Minnesota this season.

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