The Minnesota Vikings season opener in Cincinnati is 94 days away. Fans are excited to see this team again. Even being in a training camp would be more exciting than usual given the evolution of last season.
From 2005-2010, the 94 was worn by defensive tackle Pat Williams, but now belongs to Dalvin Tomlinson, who was the team’s biggest free agent acquisition for two years/$22 million. Prior to that, Tomlinson had spent the previous four seasons with the New York Giants. He also started in all 64 games since entering the league as a second-round pick (55th place) outside of Alabama.
While Tomlinson is more known for stopping running, He’s a decent passing player Seven bags in the previous two seasons. The Vikings defense struggled hard last season, ranking 27th in the league last season, and had 29.7 points per game allowed for 29th.
They also allowed 134.4 dash yards per game (27th place). Tomlinson and Michael Pierce will help this team’s defense strong as well as the defense as a whole.
“All I can assume is that I’m going to play a little bit of the three techniques and shadow as they go hand in hand,” Tomlinson said. “I feel very strong in my running game and I can bring a good element of my running game to the Minnesota Vikings as well as pass the pass to reach quarterbacks and crush the pocket. As Mr. Spielman said, I want to get the quarterback as well and play the race as well.”
Lack of depth and injuries really hurt this defence. Tomlinson would be a huge boost to this team as well as both Daniel Hunter (except the naysayers) and Anthony Barr. Minnesota has also signed Patrick Peterson, Mackenzie Alexander, Xavier Woods, and Bashod Breeland, and can sign others.
This defense should be vastly improved from last season, with Tomlinson’s presence being part of the reason. His ability to stop the running and rush of the pass will make him the team’s biggest possession off the season. It will also open things up for others.
This defense has a high chance of being in the top ten, maybe even the top five if they can maintain their health and possibly add more passes. You have to imagine Mike Zimmer jumping with glee as he considers those possibilities.
The duo of Pat and Kevin Williams were great for the Vikings from 2005-2010. Sheriff Floyd and Linval Joseph played two full seasons together. Tomlinson and Pierce could probably work in the middle together for at least the next three years. Seeing these two together must be exciting. They probably won’t be as good as Williams’ wall, but they should still be pretty good together.