Popular NFL Analyst Identifies Vikings Main Defensive Problem

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Popular NFL Analyst Identifies Vikings Main Defensive Problem

While boasting a chic 10-3 record through 14 weeks, the Minnesota Vikings somehow own the NFL’s worst defense via yards allowed to opponents. The Vikings stop the run reasonably well but leak like a sieve in the secondary.

Naturally, for a team that established Super Bowl stakes after toppling the mighty Buffalo Bills on the road a month ago, a stinky defense is problematic. And with personnel like Danielle Hunter, Za’Darius Smith, Harrison Smith, Patrick Peterson, Eric Kendricks, and Harrison Phillips on the roster, just what in the hell is the issue?

Well, a popular NFL analyst with a ginormous social media following has the answer.

Popular NFL Analyst Identifies Vikings Main Defensive Problem
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Popular NFL Analyst Identifies Vikings Main Defensive Problem

His name is Brett Kollmann from The Film Room on YouTube, and his beef is with the Vikings philosophical approach to pass coverage. Kollmann tweeted Thursday, “Every DB in the Vikings secondary not named Chandon Sullivan is 6-feet or taller and yet they are 31st in the NFL in total snaps in press alignment. Also only call man 10% of the time.

He added, “Can’t recall ever seeing a defense refuse to lean into the skillset of their players like this.

Ergo, if you believe Kollmann, the Vikings personnel isn’t getting maximized. It seems like the defense is designed to support, accommodate, and even encourage some degree of man coverage, but the scheme and defensive coordinator say nope. And whether Kollmann is right or wrong is nearly irrelevant — what the Vikings are doing through 13 games is not working. The numbers don’t lie.

How Much Can the Vikings Secondary Give?
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So far in 2022, the Vikings rank eighth leaguewide in takeaways, meaning they steal the ball away from opponents more than most. Those forced turnovers, until about Week 11, acted as deodorant for Minnesota’s infamously billed “bend but don’t break defense.” Moreover, the Vikings defense has performed well in the 4th Quarter of games and the redzone, to a degree. But when Ed Donatell’s group fails to seize an interception or fumble, then the defense just isn’t any good. Recent losses to the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions confirm the logic.

After last week’s loss in Detroit, head coach Kevin O’Connell seemed to recognize the defensive shortcomings. Until that circumstance, his team was finding ways to win close games that masked the bend-don’t-break sins. O’Connell told reporters after the sloppy defensive effort in Detroit, “We’ve got to find ways [to get] different looks.”

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Kevin O’Connell

O’Connell also scoffed at the notion of replacing Donatell, “It would be asking a lot to completely change a scheme outright,” but insisted “a lot of things on the table” could be utilized for defensive repair.

So, according to Kollmann, the most sensible approach would be implementing more press coverage because, well, the franchise employs appropriate cornerbacks for the task. Rostering tall corners who have a knack for man coverage — but then opting for a prevent-like shell defense — doesn’t seem like a recipe for success. And that’s probably why every Vikings fan in the country is staring at “No. 32 ranked defense” in articles like these.

The Vikings can take Kollmann’s suggestion this Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts, a team with a poor offense. If there was ever a “get right” game for an ailing defense, it’s versus a team led by an inexperienced head coach and geriatric quarterback.

Minnesota is favored by four points over Indianapolis.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).