Through the first five games of the season, the Vikings defense was up to its old tricks of shutting down the opponent’s rushing attack. The Vikings permitted just 3.1 yards per carry and 1 rushing TD over the first five games, and they collected 37 tackles for loss against the run in that same span.
Over the last three games, however, the tides have turned. A fundamentally sound and gap strong run defense turned leaky. Washingon, Arizona and Tampa Bay combined to rush for 468 yards and 5 TDs on 99 carries, production few teams have been able to muster against Leslie Frazier’s defense in Minnesota.
And it has the Vikings head coach concerned, especially with Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch up next for the Vikings.
“I’m concerned,” Frazier acknowledged on Monday. “We have to shore up our run game and the running back we’re facing on Sunday, in my mind, he’s one of the best in our business so we better get our run game fixed in a hurry.”
Frazier singled out missed tackles and poor gap integrity as reasons the Vikings have surrendered the rushing yards they have in recent weeks, and he explained that the defense focused on those issues during Monday’s practice.
“One of the things today that we did was we did a review on some of our run fits, whether it was seven-man fronts or eight-man fronts, just to make sure we all understand where we have to be and where we have to fit up runs,” Frazier said. “We have to improve in that area.
“We haven’t changed our run fits in a long, long time. We didn’t execute as well as we needed to and it cost us. We have to get it fixed and we will.”
Tags: Leslie Frazier
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