The Vikings Top Defensive Performers at Saints, per PFF

The Vikings Top Defensive Performers at Saints, per PFF
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram II. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings topped the New Orleans Saints in Week 4, 28-25, in another wild game where the Vikings squandered a nine-point lead but still won.

Minnesota’s offense and defense were sweet and salty yet again, but when it mattered, the units delivered. The special teams group was the steadiest contributor, executing an opportune fake-punt pass for a 1st Down and drilling five successful field goals.

On defense, these were the top performers per Pro Football Focus:

1. Dalvin Tomlinson (89.8)
2. Cameron Dantzler (85.9)
3. James Lynch (74.1)
4. Patrick Peterson (72.4)
5. Harrison Phillips (69.6)

Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

Dalvin Tomlinson continues to serve as the Vikings most consistent defender — perhaps player, in general — now leading all eligible teammates via PFF grade (80.5). He’s arguably the one player who hasn’t authored a “bad” or “meh” game through four weeks. Against the Saints, Tomlinson logged 4 tackles, 2 QB hits, and a sack. Not bad.

Cameron Dantzler had a bounceback game, delivering the 85.9 performance in London. The third-year corner always seems to teeter on playing phenomenally or making a ghastly mistake. In Week 4, he was closer to the former. Dantzler recorded 5 tackles, three passes defended, and a tackle for loss.

James Lynch Solidifying Backup NT Role 
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman James Lynch. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

A new arrival to such articles, James Lynch had a tackle, playing on 16 defensive snaps. PFF was evidently impressed. His pal Harrison Phillips, like Lynch, recorded a single tackle, but that was enough to move the PFF needle.

Finally, Patrick Peterson made an impact with his best game of 2022 to date. He notched 3 tackles and two passes defended en route to the topsy-turvy win.

As a team on defense, Minnesota is still a work in progress. It’s performing well on 3rd Down (11th-best in NFL) and limiting 2nd Half points to opponents (ninth-fewest leaguewide), but it ranks 27th in yards allowed.

Even in victory, “the bad” must be highlighted, so these were the worst performers on offense:

3. Jordan Hicks (49.7)
2. Harrison Smith (48.4)
1. Camryn Bynum (45.6)

The Vikings host the Justin Fields-led Chicago Bears in Minneapolis on Sunday.

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 Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).