Vikings higher than hated rival in recent 2024 NFL offensive line rankings

Minnesota Vikings LT Christian Darrisaw
Minnesota Vikings LT Christian Darrisaw / David Berding/GettyImages

During Kevin O'Connell's first two seasons as the franchise's head coach, an argument can be made that no Minnesota Vikings position group has improved more than the team's offensive line. The improvements have been especially noticeable when it has come to pass blocking with Kirk Cousins under center for the Vikings.

During Cousins's first four seasons with Minnesota (2018 to 2021), he was pressured on 36.9 percent of his dropbacks, according to data from PFF. In his 25 games in the last two years with O'Connell as the Vikings head coach, the veteran quarterback saw that pressure rate drop to 34.3 percent.

Last season, Cousins's pressure rate on his dropbacks (32.6 percent) was even lower than the pressure rate faced by Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (35.4 percent). This might come as a surprise to some since the Lions offensive line is currently viewed by many as one of the best units in the entire NFL.

PFF gives the Minnesota Vikings offensive line a higher ranking than the Green Bay Packers offensive line

On Monday, PFF's Zoltán Buday shared his offensive line rankings for all 32 teams in the league heading into the 2024 season.

Minnesota's offensive line wasn't included among the 10 best, but Buday did give the group a respectable ranking of 13th in the NFL, which coincidentally also happened to be one spot better than the Green Bay Packers offensive line.

The Vikings' 2024 ranking is actually two spots higher than what PFF gave them last year, but Buday shared his explanation for why the team's offensive line still isn't currently viewed among the 10 best in the league.

"Although left tackle Christian Darrisaw was not able to replicate his breakout 2022 campaign, he still finished 2023 as the third-highest-graded offensive tackle in pass protection despite battling injuries.

While the interior trio of Dalton Risner, Garrett Bradbury and Ed Ingram is average at best, the offensive tackle duo of Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill makes the Vikings' line an above-average unit."

As mentioned previously, the Packers offensive line ranked one spot behind the Vikings at 14th. As for the rest of the NFC North? Well, Buday has the Lions with the top-ranked offensive line in the NFL heading into next season, and he ranked the Chicago Bears offensive line 11th.

Given Minnesota's uncertainty at quarterback next season, it is definitely going be interesting to see if the team's offensive line can continue to perform well.

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