Do The Vikings Have an Above-Average Offensive Line? PFF Article Thinks So
Coming into the year, a lot of Vikings fans were concerned about the offensive line.
Sure, the tackle tandem looked promising, especially since both are still so young. Add in the rock-solid Ezra Cleveland at LG and there’s some reason for optimism. The worry, in many people’s minds, remained at center and RG. Would these two positions be strong enough for the OL to thrive against stronger competition?
The Strength of The Vikings Offensive Line
After a single game, things are looking pretty good.
Garrett Bradbury and Ed Ingram weren’t without fault in Week 1, but things could have been far worse. Don’t forget that Green Bay has legit talent along their defensive line.
As a result, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Minnesota does reasonably well in a PFF piece that offers a full NFL OL ranking. The Vikings’ offensive line comes in at 14th overall. Take a look at the blurb:
There might not be a bigger one-on-one mismatch this week than Jordan Davis against Garrett Bradbury, both in a literal physical sense and in terms of what Davis can do to Bradbury and the Vikings’ offensive game plan if they don’t prepare accordingly.
Bradbury looks just as much of a liability under the new regime as he did in the old one, surrendering four pressures against Green Bay last week. Rookie Ed Ingram suffered his own issues, and that interior axis remains a concern for the Vikings.
As you can see, the description from PFF doesn’t suggest Minnesota has no concerns up front. Nevertheless, the ranking is notable. There are 32 teams in the league, so coming in at 14th indicates that the OL is above average (at least after a single week).
Ingram currently comes in at 6th overall among 68 guards in the PFF rankings. His 79.3 score is mostly due to his very impressive 87.4 run grade. The 31.2 pass blocking grade, on the other hand, needs some work. Bradbury isn’t too far off from Ingram. Coming in at 19th among 33 centers, Bradbury has a 67.0 run blocking grade and a 27.8 pass blocking grade.
For whatever it’s worth, it’s Brian O’Neill who has the strongest score with a robust 80.6 grade. That’s the 2nd-best number among tackles.
The Vikings’ upcoming opponent – the Philadelphia Eagles – have an offensive line that’s very impressive. In fact, they come in at 1st overall in the ranking. The ending of the Philadelphia description looks ahead to the MNF game: “Minnesota’s defensive line will have a tough task attacking this unit in Week 2.”
Ed Donatell may need to help his guys up front. Moving around his pass rushers for more favorable matchups seems productive, and we can likely expect some stunts. I’m also keeping an eye on Jordan Hicks as a blitzer.
On offense, the Vikings will be facing their own challenges. The Eagles have Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Jordan Davis (among others). Kirk Cousins will need to be decisive with the football, getting the ball out of his hands with consistent speed to help slow down Philadelphia’s pass rush.
Week 2 is another test for the OL. A strong effort up front will go a long way in helping Minnesota climb up to 2-0.