Vikings

Vikings Lead League With Fewest Missed Tackles, Key to Beating Detroit

Photo Credit: Brian Curski

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
MIN 164 9 94.5
OAK 175 10 94.3
LAR 168 13 92.3
SEA 166 14 91.6
NO 199 17 91.5
BLT 159 14 91.2
KC 158 14 91.1
CIN 198 18 90.9
NE 177 17 90.4
DAL 177 17 90.4
ARZ 165 16 90.3
CLV 175 17 90.3
DEN 160 16 90
CHI 226 23 89.8
BUF 175 18 89.7
JAX 154 16 89.6
IND 154 16 89.6
MIA 122 13 89.3
HST 169 18 89.3
WAS 140 15 89.3
GB 221 24 89.1
CAR 157 18 88.5
DET 178 22 87.6
SF 198 26 86.9
NYG 211 29 86.3
SD 203 29 85.7
ATL 175 25 85.7
NYJ 194 29 85.1
PHI 163 28 82.8
TEN 202 36 82.2
PIT 190 34 82.1
TB 139 25 82

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.


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