To illustrate tight end problems: Miller, Ebron led in receiving past two weeks. Reed/Davis with 4 rec., 91 yds, TD already
And there's the issues against TEs........
Another third-down conversion allowed.... This one on Trae Waynes. Taking some lumps in coverage.
And they're not getting those "fix it" plays on defense like they did vs. Tennessee or Green Bay or Carolina. Remember they trailed against the Titans and Panthers at halftime before the defense got takeaways. Opposing offenses, which are leading on the Vikings for much of these last three games, have been playing it safe and not taking chances. Hence these low-scoring losses.
But to say there's "one thing" that has changed since the bye, there isn't. It's been a multitude of breakdowns that stem from Mike Zimmer regretting play calls to players missing tackles and blowing assignments.
This defense has gone from superhuman to vulnerable. They're not getting help from the offense and haven't been able to change games on their own. Offenses are converting third downs all too often recently, including more than 50 percent on the last 25 attempts entering today. Much of it is about game situations and they've been in some unenviable spots.
Missed tackles, offense's shift in scheming to quicker throws. Harrison Smith has not played that great in the past couple games, today's start included. Rhodes had two critical 3rd-10 penalties at the end of last week's game.
Now Kendricks is hobbling off the field.
Barr and Kendricks are set to return, so they dodged a bullet
A major issue recently is this Vikings defense is starting games poorly on opening drives. Puts them behind right away. A larger problem is the offense. They're limited by an injury-riddled line. And they can't run at all.
Big play by Kyle Rudolph to get those yards back lost by a sack. Vikings need skill position players to break tackles with how poor protection has been.
Stat of the day (week? month? season?): Vikings have led for a total of 34 seconds since starting 5-0
Heck of a catch by Crowder, who came into this game with consecutive 100-yard games. The Vikings once again give up points on the opening drive.
Greenway and Lamur in on that key third down with Kendricks and Barr hurt.
Barr and Kendricks hurt on that play. That would be a horrendous turn of events for this defense.