A stout run defense rarely garners the splashy headlines in today’s pass-heavy NFL schemes. Mike Zimmer however, is a head coach who prides himself on being able to control the clock with a power running attack and a dominant defense. Under Zimmer, the run defense hasn’t received the press attention as some of the other phases of the game, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any less of a focal point for him.
In Leslie Frazier’s final season in 2013, the Vikings finished ranked 11th against the run giving up 105.8 yards per game. The following year, Zimmer’s first as a head coach, the Vikings fell all the way back to 25th allowing 121.4 rushing yards per game. The Vikings took a step forward last season by only allowing 109.2 rushing yards per game, good for 17th in the league.