Here’s Where the Vikings Defense Ranks Through Week 7

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Week 7 of the NFL season is officially behind us.

The Minnesota Vikings managed to shock the world on Monday night by upsetting the San Francisco 49ers and re-inserting themselves into the playoff picture.

Today, we will be breaking down where the Vikings defense ranks through Week 7 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 defensive snaps. 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

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Total Defense

  • Points per Game Allowed: 21.7 (20th)
  • Total Yards per Game Allowed: 330.3 (15th)
  • Plays per Game: 65.3 (11th-most)
  • Yards per Play Allowed: 5.1 (13th)
  • First Downs per Game Allowed: 20.3 (20th)
  • Takeaways per Game: 1.29 (20th)
  • PFF Grade: 71.4 (17th)
  • Total EPA/play: -0.02 (18th)

The Vikings defense was finally able to play a normal amount of snaps on Monday night, with the unit only being on the field for 53 plays against the 49ers. Takeaways played a big part in that as the group forced a season-high three turnovers in the win.

Outside of the amount of snaps they have to play, the team remains largely a top-20 defense in this league. If they continue to play like they did on Monday, the Vikings certainly can improve towards being a top team in the NFC.

Pass Defense

  • Completions Allowed per Game: 24.7 (25th)
  • Pass Attempts Against per Game: 33.1 (14th-fewest)
  • Passing Yards Allowed per Game: 224.7 (17th)
  • Yards Allowed per Attempt: 6.3 (22nd)
  • Passing TDs Allowed per Game: 1.43 (20th)
  • Passing First Downs Allowed per Game: 11.6 (20th)
  • Interceptions per Game: 0.71 (T-15th)
  • Sacks per Game: 2.7 (T-14th)
  • Pass-Rush PFF Grade: 58.7 (31st)
  • Coverage PFF Grade: 76.9 (10th)
  • EPA/pass: 0.00 (15th)

Run Defense

  • Carries Against per Game: 29.4 (T-9th-most)
  • Rushing Yards Allowed per Game: 105.6 (15th)
  • Yards per Carry Allowed: 3.6 (4th)
  • Rushing First Downs Allowed per Game: 7.71 (T-26th)
  • Rushing TDs Allowed per Game: 0.86 (T-18th)
  • Fumbles Recovered per Game: 0.57 (T-14th)
  • Run Defense PFF Grade: 68.1 (11th)
  • EPA/run: -0.19 (8th)

The Vikings prowess in run defense was on full display this week. They held Christian McCaffrey to just 45 yards on his 15 carries, and his 3.0 yards per carry was his second-lowest of the season, ahead of only his game against the Cowboys. Minnesota also limited the star to 0 rushes of 10+ yards.

Minnesota has done a great job of limiting the big plays this season, especially in the running game. Jonathan Bullard has turned into a spectacular run defender for the team over the past couple weeks, and they remain among the top half of the league in sacks.

Individual Players

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

OLB Danielle Hunter

  • Solo Tackles: 24 (T-98th)
  • Tackles for Loss: 12 (1st)
  • QB Pressures: 27 (T-19th)
  • QB Hits: 9 (T-18th)
  • Sacks: 9.0 (1st)
  • PFF Grade: 63.9 (36th among EDGEs)

OLB D.J. Wonnum

  • Solo Tackles: 12 (T-281st)
  • Tackles for Loss: 3 (T-98th)
  • QB Pressures: 17 (T-62nd)
  • QB Hits: 6 (T-52nd)
  • Sacks: 2.0 (T-83rd)
  • PFF Grade: 62.4 (42nd among EDGEs)

OLB Pat Jones

  • Solo Tackles: 6 (T-444th)
  • Tackles for Loss: 0
  • QB Pressures: 11 (T-121st)
  • QB Hits: 2 (T-180th)
  • Sacks: 0
  • PFF Grade: 32.0 (58th among EDGEs)

DL Jonathan Bullard

  • Solo Tackles: 12 (T-281st)
  • Tackles for Loss: 1 (T-246th)
  • QB Pressures: 3 (T-299th)
  • QB Hits: 0
  • Sacks: 0
  • PFF Grade: 68.5 (21st among DL)

DL Harrison Phillips

  • Solo Tackles: 22 (T-120th)
  • Tackles for Loss: 0
  • QB Pressures: 10 (T-128th)
  • QB Hits: 3 (T-136th)
  • Sacks: 1.5 (T-126th)
  • PFF Grade: 63.8 (33rd among DL)

DL Dean Lowry

  • Solo Tackles: 4 (T-528th)
  • Tackles for Loss: 0
  • QB Pressures: 4 (T-257th)
  • QB Hits: 0
  • Sacks: 0
  • PFF Grade: 48.4 (54th among DL)

LB Jordan Hicks

  • Solo Tackles: 34 (T-22nd)
  • Tackles for Loss: 1 (T-246th)
  • QB Pressures: 6 (T-195th)
  • QB Hits: 0
  • Sacks: 0
  • PFF Grade: 81.5 (T-10th among LBs)

CB Byron Murphy

  • Solo Tackles: 22 (T-120th)
  • Tackles for Loss: 1 (T-246th)
  • Passes Defended: 7 (T-4th)
  • Interceptions: 1 (T-35th)
  • PFF Grade: 48.6 (58th among CBs)
Vikings Statistical Rankings Through Week 7: Defense
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

CB Akayleb Evans

  • Solo Tackles: 26 (T-70th)
  • Tackles for Loss: 0
  • Passes Defended: 3 (T-78th)
  • Interceptions: 0
  • Forced Fumbles: 2 (T-7th)
  • PFF Grade: 62.5 (38th among CBs)

S Harrison Smith

  • Solo Tackles: 29 (T-46th)
  • Tackles for Loss: 2 (T-154th)
  • Sacks: 3.0 (T-45th)
  • Passes Defended: 1 (T-225th)
  • Interceptions: 0
  • Forced Fumbles: 3 (T-1st)
  • PFF Grade: 73.9 (12th among safeties)

S Camryn Bynum

  • Solo Tackles: 48 (3rd)
  • Tackles for Loss: 2 (T-154th)
  • Passes Defended: 4 (T-51st)
  • Interceptions: 2 (T-9th)
  • PFF Grade: 85.7 (4th among safeties)

S Josh Metellus

  • Solo Tackles: 29 (T-46th)
  • Tackles for Loss: 3 (T-98th)
  • Passes Defended: 2 (T-129th)
  • Interceptions: 0
  • PFF Grade: 69.3 (T-25th among safeties)
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