Chandon Sullivan Isn’t the Only Vikings Defender Who Should be Upset

Oct 16, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) attempts a catch as Minnesota Vikings safety Camryn Bynum (24) and cornerback Chandon Sullivan (39) pressure during the second quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Chandon Sullivan has every right to be upset. After all, the starting slot corner was robbed (as Sullivan says) of not one but two touchdowns. Very seldom does a defender get a scoop-and-score, so being robbed twice in the same game is reason for frustration.

Like many others, I was flabbergasted. They were baffling calls that could have easily changed the outcome of the game.

After the game, Sullivan even articulated some of his concerns on Twitter:

Thankfully, the mistakes didn’t lead to a Minnesota defeat. Somehow, Kevin O’Connell’s squad found a way to overcome the 33-0 halftime deficit. As a result, they’ll go down in history as having the great comeback in NFL history.

Not bad, not bad at all.

Now, it’s worth noting that Chandon Sullivan isn’t the only defender who might be a bit frustrated. Rookie LB Brian Asamoah helped force that first fumble. Take a look:

In youth football, coaches commonly teach their defenders a critical rule: the first player secures the tackle, the second defender goes for the turnover. Well, Asamoah did precisely that, helping force the Colts WR to drop the ball. Sullivan did the rest, securing possession and then bringing it back for what should have been a TD for Ed Donatell’s defense (a group that has seen no shortage of criticism recently).

One has to think that it was somewhat disappointing for Asamoah. The rookie LB made a great play, one that would have allowed Minnesota to shrink the Indy lead to just two scores. Instead, the Colts maintained possession.

Somehow, the same mistake occurred toward the end of the game. Chandon Sullivan – to his credit – picked up the fumble to score another TD. Again, though, it was disallowed:

The truly wild thing is that the refs even called Sullivan for a 15-yard penalty after the play.

Even still, Minnesota ended the game with a 39-36 victory. Greg Joseph hit the game-winning field goal in the final seconds of overtime, pushing the Vikings to an 11-3 record.

On a more positive note, it was good to see Asamoah receive more playing time. The rookie moves well and plays with great effort. True, he’s smaller than most NFL linebackers, but the game’s emphasis on passing makes the speedy LB a needed weapon to help neutralize the challenges that modern offenses present.

Overall, Sullivan had a nice game. He allowed 4 completions on 4 targets, but those catches only went for 24 yards. Just about any defensive coordinator would be very pleased with that result. An offense is going to have a difficult time beating a defense if their completions are going for such modest yardage.

Both Sullivan and Asamoah will get the chance to help their team keep winning when they host the New York Giants on Christmas Eve. That game is scheduled to begin at 12 CST. Who knows? Perhaps the duo can combine for another score or two. If that occurs, hopefully Sullivan’s TD(s) will stand.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and PFF helped with this piece.

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