Vikings Defense: First Half Performance By The Numbers

A look at the stat book reveals how the Vikings defense has stacked up after eight games.

In 2013 the Minnesota Vikings defense ranked 31st in the NFL. They gave up 397.6 yards per game. They also allowed 30.0 points per game.

That all changed in 2014 when the team acquired one of the best defensive-minded coaches in the NFL, head coach Mike Zimmer. Under Zimmer, the Vikings defense has gone from bottom of the barrel to a perennial top-5 squad.

Through Week 9, here are the notable team and individual defensive statistics.

Team Stats

    • 282.1 yards per game. NFL rank = 4th.
    • 81.4 yards per game. NFL rank = 3rd.
    • 200.8 yards per game. NFL rank = 7th.
    • 135 points. NFL rank = 3rd.

At the season’s halfway point, the Vikings have the 5th-fewest penalties in the NFL (48), and the team ranks 14th in the league in turnover margin (+2).

Individual Stats

Viking defenders, their Pro Football Focus grades (in parenthesis), and their first-half production.

Defensive Ends

Everson Griffen (89.4) – 21 tackles in 8 games, including 10 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.

Danielle Hunter (83.6) – 9 tackles in 8 games, including 3 sacks and 1 forced fumble.

Brian Robison (50.7) – 3 tackles in 8 games, including 1 sack.

Stephen Weatherly (53.0) – 1 tackle in 7 games.

Defensive Tackles

Linval Joseph (90.0) – 23 tackles in games, including 2.5 sacks and 1 fumble recovery.

Tom Johnson (73.8) – 10 tackles in 8 games, including 2 sacks.

Shamar Stephen (76.4) – 4 tackles in 8 games, including 1 sack.

Jaleel Johnson (69.5) – 0 tackles in 2 games.


Anthony Barr (86.3) – 33 tackles in 8 games, including 1 sack and 5 passes defended.

Eric Kendricks (64.3) – 40 tackles in 8 games, including 1 sack and 4 passes defended.

Ben Gedeon (71.0) – 13 tackles in 8 games.

Emmanuel Lamur (76.5) – 5 tackles in 8 games, including 1 fumble recovery.


Xavier Rhodes (83.1) – 18 tackles in 8 games, including 1 interception and 5 passes defended.

Trae Waynes (74.9) – 36 tackles in 8 games, including 2 interceptions and 8 passes defended.

Mackensie Alexander (71.8) – 7 tackles in 7 games, including 2 passes defended.

Terence Newman (80.9) – 14 tackles in 8 games, including 2 passes defended.

Tramaine Brock (42.2) – 0 tackles in 5 games.


Harrison Smith (93.7) – 34 tackles in 8 games, including 1.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 6 passes defended.

Andrew Sendejo (70.6) – 29 tackles in 6 games, including 1 interception and 2 passes defended.

Anthony Harris (74.5) – 6 tackles in 8 games, including 1 fumble recovery.

Jayron Kearse (71.3) – 3 tackles in 7 games.

Stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus, and

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Sean Borman

Sean Borman is a writer with Minnesota roots that's still somehow an optimist. He was an intern with the Vikings during college and is an IT nerd by day. You can find Sean on the golf course and on Twitter @SeanBormanNFL.

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  1. Damn, it’s good to have depth. I’m even warming to the idea of signing Lamur to a long-term, lower-cost, “super-sub” contract. The only bench I’m a bit worried about is DE; is Robison still getting some pressure outside of sacks, because I’m betting he’s still getting pushed around in the running game?

    1. CKA, I’d love to see Lamur brought back on that kind of contract as well. He’s quietly been a solid part of the special teams success and knows this defense well enough to be a solid fill-in at linebacker. As far as defensive ends, we do have Stephen Weatherly, Tashawn Bower (not listed here b/c no stats have been accrued) and Ifeadi Odenigbo (on the practice squad). I think the team is pretty high on all three of them. As for Robison, he has 8 QB hurries according to He’s played 63.3% of the defensive snaps according to Football Outsiders, so that’s pretty solid pressure. He’s coming off the bench but is still playing a role in the defensive line rotation, including stand-up rusher on third downs. I’m not sure about getting pushed around in the running game, haha