Here’s Where the Vikings Defense Ranks Through Week 9

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports.

Week 9 of the NFL season is officially behind us.

The Vikings went on the road without Kirk Cousins, Christian Darrisaw, or Justin Jefferson this weekend and managed to pull off a crazy upset win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Today, we will be breaking down the Vikings defense ranks through Week 9 as a whole, and where individual players stand. Shout out to Pro-Football-ReferencePro Football Focus, and nfeloapp.com for the numbers that went into this article.

NOTE: Individual PFF Grades are sorted to include players with at least 50% of the league leaders for defensive snaps at each position. With many of the teams now having their bye weeks behind them, we’ll also be transitioning towards per game numbers for the team statistics.

Team Defense

Vikings Statistical Rankings Through Week 9
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Total Defense

  • Points Allowed per Game: 21.1 (17th)
  • Total Yards Allowed per Game: 328 (14th)
  • Plays per Game: 65.1 (9th-most)
  • Yards Allowed per Play: 5.0 (9th)
  • First Downs Allowed per Game: 19.6 (17th)
  • Takeaways per Game: 1.33 (18th)
  • Overall PFF Grade: 71.6 (T-18th)
  • EPA/play: -0.06 (12th)

The Vikings defense definitely wore down by the end of Sunday’s game, but that is understandable considering they were put in multiple difficult situations. Minnesota’s offense had a pair of fumbles and a safety in the first 35 minutes of the game, so the defense was on the field a lot early on. Still, they came up with a few huge plays when needed, and they remain hovering around the middle of the pack in just about every category.

Pass Defense

  • Completions Allowed per Game: 24.2 (23rd)
  • Pass Attempts Against per Game: 34.6 (18th)
  • Passing Yards Allowed per Game: 225.4 (19th)
  • Net Yards Allowed per Pass: 6.1 (T-18th)
  • Passing First Downs Allowed per Game: 11.9 (T-22nd)
  • Pass TDs Allowed per Game: 1.33 (T-16th)
  • Interceptions per Game: 0.78 (16th)
  • Sacks per Game: 2.7 (T-15th)
  • Pass-Rush PFF Grade: 56.0 (31st)
  • Coverage PFF Grade: 83.0 (6th)
  • EPA/pass: -0.03 (13th)

Run Defense

  • Carries Against per Game: 27.9 (T-19th)
  • Rushing Yards Allowed per Game: 102.6 (12th)
  • Yards Allowed per Carry: 3.7 (5th)
  • Rushing First Downs Allowed per Game: 6.78 (20th)
  • Rushing TDs Allowed per Game: 0.78 (16th)
  • Fumbles Recovered per Game: 0.56 (T-15th)
  • Run Defense PFF Grade: 66.3 (15th)
  • EPA/run: -0.21 (5th)

The Vikings defense is certainly a bit of a mixed bag right now, and after last weekend, they moved down slightly in a number of categories against the pass. However, this group continues to be fantastic against the run, and once again, they held their opponent to fewer than 4 yards per carry on Sunday. Brian Flores has done a great job of mixing things up on that side of the ball, and his playcalling ability was on full display throughout Week 9’s win.

Individual Players

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

OLB Danielle Hunter

  • Solo Tackles: 32 (T-82nd)
  • Tackles for Loss: 13 (T-1st)
  • QB Pressures: 35 (T-21st)
  • QB Hits: 9 (T-43rd)
  • Sacks: 10.0 (1st)
  • Forced Fumbles: 3 (T-4th)
  • PFF Grade: 74.8 (24th among 56 qualifying EDGEs)

OLB D.J. Wonnum

  • Solo Tackles: 16 (T-278th)
  • Tackles for Loss: 4 (T-91st)
  • QB Pressures: 22 (T-64th)
  • QB Hits: 10 (T-31st)
  • Sacks: 4.0 (T-43rd)
  • PFF Grade: 58.9 (45th among 56 qualifying EDGEs)

OLB Pat Jones

  • Solo Tackles: 6 (T-505th)
  • Tackles for Loss: 2 (T-202nd)
  • QB Pressures: 11 (T-150th)
  • QB Hits: 2 (T-212th)
  • Sacks: 0
  • PFF Grade: 30.4 (56th among 56 qualifying EDGEs)

DL Harrison Phillips

  • Solo Tackles: 28 (T-116th)
  • Tackles for Loss: 0
  • QB Pressures: 12 (T-139th)
  • QB Hits: 5 (T-104th)
  • Sacks: 2.0 (T-110th)
  • PFF Grade: 66.5 (T-29th among 67 qualifying DL)

DL Jonathan Bullard

  • Solo Tackles: 15 (T-292nd)
  • Tackles for Loss: 1 (T-300th)
  • QB Pressures: 3 (T-336th)
  • QB Hits: 0
  • Sacks: 0
  • PFF Grade: 59.4 (42nd among 67 qualifying DL)

LB Jordan Hicks

  • Solo Tackles: 47 (T-10th)
  • Tackles for Loss: 3 (T-139th)
  • QB Pressures: 8 (T-194th)
  • QB Hits: 1 (T-270th)
  • Sacks: 1.0 (T-175th)
  • Passes Defended: 4 (T-75th)
  • Interceptions: 1 (T-47th)
  • Forced Fumbles: 1 (T-41st)
  • PFF Grade: 78.3 (14th among 57 qualifying LBs)
Vikings Defense
Minnesota Vikings safety Josh Metellus (44) does a Thriller zombie dance after intercepting a pass against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, October 29, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The Vikings won the game, 24-10.

CB Byron Murphy

  • Solo Tackles: 26 (T-138th)
  • Tackles for Loss: 2 (T-202nd)
  • Passes Defended: 9 (T-6th)
  • Interceptions: 2 (T-13th)
  • PFF Grade: 51.2 (62nd among 74 qualifying CBs)

CB Akayleb Evans

  • Solo Tackles: 35 (T-58th)
  • Tackles for Loss: 0
  • Passes Defended: 4 (T-75th)
  • Interceptions: 0
  • Forced Fumbles: 3 (T-4th)
  • PFF Grade: 59.8 (47th among 74 qualifying CBs)

S Harrison Smith

  • Solo Tackles: 37 (T-45th)
  • Tackles for Loss: 2 (T-202nd)
  • Passes Defended: 1 (T-282nd)
  • Interceptions: 0
  • Forced Fumbles: 3 (T-4th)
  • PFF Grade: 71.8 (22nd among 66 qualifying safeties)

S Camryn Bynum

  • Solo Tackles: 56 (5th)
  • Tackles for Loss: 2 (T-202nd)
  • Passes Defended: 7 (T-17th)
  • Interceptions: 2 (T-13th)
  • Forced Fumbles: 1 (T-41st)
  • PFF Grade: 85.1 (6th among 66 qualifying safeties)

S Josh Metellus

  • Solo Tackles: 37 (T-45th)
  • Tackles for Loss: 4 (T-91st)
  • Passes Defended: 3 (T-112th)
  • Interceptions: 1 (T-47th)
  • Forced Fumbles: 1 (T-41st)

NOTE: This article originally appeared on our sister-site, PurplePTSD.com.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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