The Minnesota Vikings have the fewest missed tackles and fewest missed tackles per tackle attempt, per Pro Football Focus’ signature stats. That will be critical to taking down the Detroit Lions, who run an offense heavily reliant on generating yards after the catch, with a significant portion of their passing game devoted to screens.
After collating all the data the website has on safeties, cornerbacks, linebackers, edge players and interior defenders, one can look at the aggregate tackling efficiency of each team.
|Team||Tackle Attempts||Missed Tackles||Tackling Efficiency|
Contributing to that team-wide success, the Minnesota Vikings didn’t miss a single tackle against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Everson Griffen, Harrison Smith and Trae Waynes have not missed a tackle all year.
The Detroit Lions were third in the NFL last year in percentage of yards that came after the catch (behind only Kansas City and Minnesota, of course).
While Detroit has been more aggressive this year with the addition of Kenny Golladay and an expansion in Marvin Jones’ role, Golden Tate still has one of the lowest deep target rates in the NFL — significant because Tate is quarterback Matthew Stafford’s favorite targets, with an astonishing 43.3 percent of Detroit’s receiver targets and 25 percent of their total targets.
Not only that, the Lions had success running the ball last year against the Minnesota Vikings, with Theo Riddick gaining 5.0 yards a carry in two games last year and generating 4.48 yards after contact per attempt. That, along with six forced missed tackles, created a Pro Football Focus elusiveness rating of 77.2 last year, higher than any running back put together in 2016 over the course of the full season.
By contrast, Riddick only produced 2.16 yards after contact against other opponents last year, with a PFF elusiveness rating of 47.7.
If the Vikings keep up their tackling efficiency this year, they should be able to shut down an otherwise potent Detroit Lions offense.