The Vikings were the No. 1 defense in the league last season, but the unit has looked like a shell of its former self during its 2018 campaign so far.
Eyebrows were raised when Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen completed 68 percent of his passes and produced three total touchdowns in just his second career start against the Vikings last Sunday, and Thursday’s game didn’t go any better.
In fact, it went worse.
The Rams racked up 556 total yards in the 38-31 win, and somehow, the Vikings’ opportunistic defense could not force a single turnover. Minnesota also only recorded one sack in the game, which certainly isn’t a formula for success. The lack of pressure on quarterback Jared Goff allowed him to complete 26 of 33 passes for a career-high 465 yards. Not only that, he also threw five touchdown passes — another career-high.
As for Minnesota’s poor defensive showing, head coach Mike Zimmer didn’t really seem to have the answers when asked about it. He shared his take in speaking to reporters after the game.
“At this point, I don’t know,” Zimmer responded, via Lindsey Young of Vikings.com. “We’ve never been, probably anywhere I’ve ever been, I’ve never been this poor in pass coverage. We’re going to have to look at everything we’re doing and get back to doing things [effectively].”
Zimmer was also asked if he was concerned about the team’s defense, and he didn’t shy away from voicing his opinion.
“Yeah, I’m concerned,” Zimmer said. “I’ve been concerned all year long. We have not played well defensively.”
It’s surprising that the Vikings defense has been so bad, given Zimmer’s track record. He’s known as a defensive-minded coach, and it’s safe to say no one could have predicted that the Vikings would have given up an average of 399.7 yards per game in their last three contests.
The Vikings will have to watch the tape and correct their mistakes, and they do get the benefit of having some extra time to prepare for their Week 5 game in Philadelphia, against an Eagles team that derailed their Super Bowl hopes in the NFC Championship game last season.