Pro Football Focus created a tweet on June 16 that addressed the grades of tackles based on a unit’s combined performance. The Vikings and Patriots received a team grade of 91.8. One NFC North opponent was right behind Minnesota, the Detroit Lions finished fifth with a team grade of 88.1.
The Vikings joined New England as the NFL’s highest-graded tacklers as a team in 2018! pic.twitter.com/tIzG3eg4LS— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 16, 2019
Linebacker Eric Kendricks led the charge for the defense with 108 tackles. Safety Harrison Smith wrapped up 84 tackles, nine of which were tackles for a loss of yards and laid five hits on the quarterback. Defensive end Danielle Hunter probably had the most impact on the defensive end in terms of tackles. Hunter picked up 72 tackles with 14.5 sacks, 21 tackles for loss of yards and hit the quarterback 19 times.
The Green Bay Packers ranked the worst out of all four NFC North teams last season. Green Bay snuck into the 22nd spot with a team grade of 59.3. The Chicago Bears almost cracked the top-10, but came up just short finishing 11th with a grade of 81.8.
As mentioned earlier, the expectation for the defense should be the same as it has been. All the core players are still there, defensive end Everson Griffen will be back to 100 percent both physically and mentally. Sophomore cornerback Mike Hughes will be bouncing back from an ACL-tear, he can be a solid contributor to the defense, if healthy.
Last season Minnesota finished tied for first with the Bears with 50 sacks and ninth with 1,018 tackles.