My eyes did not deceive me. Kalil and Sullivan were ineffective and Greenway and Henderson might as well have stayed home. Boy did Greenway look slow!
Matt Kalil (-3.0) and John Sullivan (-1.6) are two of the very best at their positions in the NFL, but both had serious problems Sunday. Khalil’s -2.5 pass protection grade was the worst of his career so far. He missed blocks and assignments in a way he hasn’t since entering the league as the fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft. Overall he gave up a hit and four hurries on 36 drop backs but the stat line doesn’t tell the whole story. It was the speed at which he was beaten that was really concerning with all of the pressure he allowed coming in less than three seconds. Kalil hardly got his hands on Willie Young on one play with 6.31 to play in the fourth quarter as the Detroit defensive end blew by him to the inside. The USC product was also uncharacteristically poor in the run game, allowing one tackle for no gain and one for a loss. Ansah beat him for the former and Young the latter. Speaking of Young (+5.5 in 29 snaps) he needs more press than he receives. The versatile former seventh round pick is a stud in the making.
Sullivan meanwhile, who had not graded in the red since 2011, struggled with Ndamukong Suh’s power and athleticism. Overall he allowed two hurries on 36 drop backs with the lowlight coming with 3:54 to play in the fourth quarter. Suh got a good jump and bull rushed Sullivan 7 yards into the backfield. It was more of a mixed game for the Viking’s center in the ground game as he graded positively once and negatively twice.
With the trio of EJ Henderson, Ben Leber and Chad Greenway, the Vikings had one of the best sets of linebackers in the league for a while. Two of the three are gone however and the third may be on his last legs. Greenway (-3.2)struggled in the second half of last season and this game will have done nothing to dispel the concerns that he may have lost a step. Despite playing 37 run snaps, Greenway had just the solitary stop and finished with a -2.6grade in run defense. There were a couple of occasions (Q1, 2.55 and Q3, 12.21) where he had Bush lined up with a chance to bring down the runner for a short gain, but simply couldn’t make the play. Similarly Erin Henderson was consistently manhandled in the run game and there should be serious questions as to whether he can handle the transition to middle linebacker. The position is especially difficult in the Viking’s scheme because they predominantly run cover 2 and thus ask their Mike backer to position himself deeper at the snap. Henderson (-3.9) had particular trouble with Warford when he came to meet him at the second level.
For the entire article read PFF's game analysis.