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Minnesota Vikings: Defensive Player Ratings

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Pro Football Focus numbers after three weeks of preseason football.

Vikings defensive scores from PFF
The Minnesota Vikings defense swarms the football
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

How are they doing through three preseason weeks of football? The defense edition:

Yesterday we discussed the Minnesota Vikings offense and the overall scores that have been given by Pro Football Focus evaluating the player so far through three games of preseason play. Today it will be the defense’s turn.

In today’s daily thread, your Daily Norseman’s own Gone Fishing described it, “It’s PFF, bring a salt block.” That really is not too far off. Even when I was talking with Eric Eager of PFF on different scores and evaluations given to players so far this preseason, he has emphasized also to take these with a grain of salt. As the evaluators over at PFF warm-up for the season, just like the players and broadcasters, we get to see some of what they are seeing, and that is intriguing. These numbers can be skewed because good numbers for second and third string players are usually generated against other second and third string players, and can be inflated over what they might look like against opposing starters. Starters, that we know were good last year, may not be putting up the same numbers in the preseason for a variety of reasons to include scheming, game planning, i.e. lack of reps or advanced film study, and even some effort. This being the case, this is just an interesting graphic to start some conversation and to point you at some particular players to watch in tonight’s game against the Miami Dolphins. Those players will be battling to win a spot on the final 53.

How Minnesota Vikings players have rated through three preseason football games by PFF.
Vikings player evaluations: the defense.
Graphic by Luft Krigare and numbers by Pro Football Focus

As we talked about yesterday, PFF uses a color coding system where blue is elite, green is either very good or good, yellow is fair, orange is poor, and red is bad. With this visual, I have also included a player’s overall rating, if they had one for 2016, just to their right of their overall preseason score this year. As you can see, some players have improved, and some have regressed. It is preseason, so with that salt you might want to add a Margarita, or if it is bad enough, just straight tequila.

PFF does not evaluate special-teams players, such as kickers and punters [as of yet], so there will be no scores for those guys. They have added the kicker category to their website, but have yet to figure out and publish any results.

If you are on your computer, you can click on the graphic to see it full-size. It might be easier to read that way. There is a lot more greens and yellows on the defensive side, and less reds thankfully, but what do you think?