Missed tackles have been an issue for the Vikings defense at times this season. In a few tight victories this season and the loss at Pittsburgh in Week 7, poor tackling was cited as one of the reasons behind defensive letdowns.
But coming out of their bye last week against Detroit, the Vikings scored 17 of the last 24 points and didn’t allow the Lions to sniff the endzone in the 4th quarter. The defense was sound in its tackling, was able to hold the Lions rushing attack to just 93 total yards and didn’t allow many big gains after the catch
“They (Detroit) threw the ball 51 times on Sunday and they averaged like 3.8 yards per catch and that is huge,” Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. “That means you are doing a good job with yards after the catch. For that number to be where it was shows that we did a better job of tackling, a better job of people getting to the ball.
“Now we just have to keep it going. You don’t want it to be a one week deal.”
Frazier will get a good gauge as to whether the improved tackling is reality or mirage this week because the Seahawks bring with them an accurate QB and talented receivers who can make plays after the catch. Last week against Arizona, Seattle threw 53 passes and accumulated 331 receiving yards. In addition, 53.3% of the Vikings passing yards allowed have come from yards after the catch (YAC), which is 4th-worst in the league, while Seattle ranks 3rd in YAC with 54.2% of their passing yards coming after the catch.
The return of CB Antoine Winfield to the lineup would represent another big step forward for Frazier’s defense. He’s been missing since Week 6 with a foot injury and his return would certainly add another sure tackler to the lineup. Winfield has a reputation as one of the surest-tackling defenders in the league and he is solid against both the run and the pass.
“Regardless of who the opponent is, it would be great to have him back, but in particular this week because they do like to throw it around,” Frazier said. “They like to give you different formations and different personnel groups. So it would be great to have him back. It would really shore up some things for us in our secondary. We got our fingers crossed in hopes that he makes it back.”
Tags: Antoine Winfield, Leslie Frazier
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