PLAYOFFS: A look at Minnesota’s pass defense

Defensive backs take part of their traditional pregame huddle before taking the field for warmups.

Players on sports teams need to take it “one game at a time.” Fans, on the other hand, have no such limitation. I find myself thinking much more about the likely Minnesota game in our playoff future than this weekend’s matchup with Carolina.

I consider the Vikings to be a bit of a nightmare draw. They are hot. They can run. They can defend the run. They can pressure the passer. Those things all play well on the road where crowd noise has less of an effect than it does on a passing attack. Even if they are hot, no team is 7-6 without some real flaws. Thankfully, for the pass-happy Hawks, pass defense appears to be one of them.

  • Minnesota allows an average of 273 yards passing/game (dead last in the NFL)
  • QBs are completing 63.6% of their passes (25th in the NFL)
  • They have yielded a QB rating of 84.0 (17th in the NFL)
  • In two games against GB–a comparable offense to the Hawks–Minnesota has given up an average of 353 yards passing/game, 2.5 TD passes/game, zero INTs and 28.5 pts

They have extremely young CBs. Other than veteran Antoine Winfield, no CB on the roster has been in the NFL more than 2 years. They have solid vets at the safety positions in Dwight Smith and Darren Sharper, but their weakness seems to match up nicely with our strength.