The Vikings will try to get back to people-munching days on defense in 2022.
Ha! You thought you were going to see the Green Bay Packers on this list! Here’s a spoiler alert. They aren’t. Again, this isn’t necessarily a list of the best defenses. It’s a list of potential headaches, and you may want to circle that September 19th game.
In Week 2, the Minnesota Vikings hop on a plane and head to Philly. They’ll get an early test to see how equipped their defense is when they are pitted against an electric Eagles offense.
First off, this Vikings defense was pretty atrocious in 2021, boasting the 24th-ranked unit in terms of points allowed. They were 30th in yards allowed which isn’t ideal. It isn’t hard to imagine a pretty substantial upgrade in 2022, but they could be better if they’re healthy and get something out of a few new additions.
Minnesota has some top-end talent in the front end of their defense with what will hopefully be a healthy Danielle Hunter. There’s also All-Pro Eric Kendricks. This offseason, they added another elite pass-rusher as well in Za’Darius Smith. The duo of him and Hunter could absolutely wreak havoc on opposing offenses.
The Vikes could frustrate the Eagles. It’s highly doubtful that they will because Philly could neutralize the Vikings’ pass rush with star tackles in Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson. The Birds want to pay attention to Harrison Smith though. The wily veteran is always on the back end trying to make elite plays, and usually, he succeeds.
Now, saying all of that, this Vikings defense isn’t packed with superstars like their rivals, the Packers, but they are chock full of above-average talent and if they can stay relatively healthy, the path to them becoming a top-ten to top-12 defense could be shaping up in Minnesota. They could even be better than that.