The Minnesota Vikings (5-2) defeated the Baltimore Ravens (3-4) at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday. The win was the Vikings third straight, as they moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC North.
Sunday turned into a special teams affair, as there was only two total between the two teams.
On defense, the Vikings had another dominant performance, holding the Ravens to just 16 points on the afternoon.
With that, here is how I am going to grade the offense, defense and special teams from Monday’s win.
Even though there was not much offensive production — regarding scoring — on Sunday, there were many positives to take from the game.
One is the offensive line. A significant weakness during the 2016 season, has since been addressed and is arguably one of the strengths of the 2017 team.
Against the Ravens, the offensive line for Minnesota did not allow one sack.
Not allowing a sack is not the only reason as to why this unit did a great job of protecting the quarterback though. Limited quarterback hits are also something to keep in mind.
Sunday, quarterback Case Keenum was hit just three times for the entire game.
One area that I pointed out to in “Minnesota Vikings vs. Baltimore Ravens: Preview and prediction” were that the Vikings should attack a weak rush defense of the Ravens. Sunday, they did just that.
Latavius Murray had his breakout game as a Viking on Sunday. He had 18 carries for 113 yards and one touchdown against one of the worst rush defenses in the league.
Murray was the lone offensive running back, wide receiver, or tight end to eclipse the 100-yard plateau.
The Vikings defense was outstanding on Sunday.
Minnesota was able to attack Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco anytime it pleased, and there was nothing Baltimore could do to counter the Vikings attack. Minnesota sacked Flacco five times and had six quarterback hits in the game.
Everson Griffin led the charge, as he had two sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, and two quarterback hits. He was outstanding and continues to play at a Pro Bowl-caliber level.
This season, Griffin already has nine sacks. He had eight sacks total last season and is well on his way to having his best season as a pro.
Surprisingly, Minnesota did not force an interception. Going into Sunday, interceptions were a significant concern for Flacco — who had thrown two in three of his last four games going into Sunday.
Sunday was a special teams game on both sides. Vikings kicker Kai Forbath had a great game, converting on all six of his field goal attempts.
Forbath’s longest was a 52-yard field goal.
One concern from Forbath was kicking extra points — the Vikings have struggled in that area in recent seasons. Forbath missed his lone PAT attempt, after the Murray touchdown run.
On punt returns, Marcus Sherels averaged nearly 30 yards per catch, with his longest return being 47 yards. Sherels longest punt return was on the first drive of the game but led to a Keenum interception on the ensuing possession.
Overall, the special teams continue to be a bright spot for this team, especially at kicker.
If you would like to receive an email each time a new Minnesota Vikings article is published, fill out our email notification form.