Editor’s note: This article originally referred to Abdullah coming out of Nebraska in 2016 and injury prone. These errors have since been fixed.
Coming into Sunday, the Vikings possessed one of the most disciplined defenses in the league with the fewest miss tackles.
Versus the Lions, however, the team took a step back while looking vastly out of character, giving up multiple second and third chances to opposing ball carriers for the first time all season. In fact, through three weeks of the 2017 season the Vikings had only allowed 75 yards rushing per game, a markedly better showing than the 106 yards per game in 2016.
That was, until Ameer Abdullah came to town. Abdullah was a highly-regarded running back out of Nebraska in 2015 whose biggest red flag was how his slight frame would hold up at the next level. Sunday, though, he was healthy and charged up, giving the Vikings defense all they could handle, running wild for nearly 100 yards.
More impressive was his ability to make defenders miss consistently in the open field. Some of the surest tacklers in the NFL like Eric Kendricks and Harrison Smith were left in the dirt by Abdullah’s quick, shifty bursts in the running lanes. After watching the coaches film today and breaking down the All-22, its clear Abdullah’s vision and ability to change directions caught everyone on the Vikings defense off guard.
Next week against the Bears the Vikings will look to tighten up the screws as they once again face a highly-talented, vastly underrated tailback in Jordan Howard.
Vikings entered the game with the LEAST MISSED TACKLES in NFL…
Then HOF RB Ameer Abdullah came to town… pic.twitter.com/XdUNpJAj1U
— Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) October 3, 2017