The Minnesota Vikings’ defense ranked 31st in the NFL this season, which ultimately led to the dismissal of defensive coordinator Ed Donatell.
Donatell wasn’t the only issue with the defense, though. The Vikings had a lot of aging veterans on the defensive side of the ball. On Thursday, Bill Barnwell tweeted out the NFL’s snap-weighted age rankings, and the Vikings ranked as the third-oldest defense in the NFL.
This statistic comes as no surprise, as the Vikings’ defense looked slower than the teams they were facing throughout the entire year. Players like Eric Kendricks, Patrick Peterson, Harrison Smith and Za’Darius Smith are all on the wrong side of 30. The NFL is such a fast-paced game, more so now than it was in the past.
When you have aging veterans on your team who are a touch slower than they have been in the past, you are much more likely to give up chunk plays. The Vikings’ defense gave up plenty of those this past season..
This offseason, General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will face a difficult task in instilling youth and speed on the defensive side of the ball. This isn’t something that can be fixed overnight or even in one offseason, but it’ll be important to prioritize younger free agents and hit on draft picks.