Really good piece, Zimmer seems like a genuinely interesting dude. On the defence, per DVOA it was ranked 24th in 2014, before climbing up to 14th in 2015. 14th isn’t bad or anything, but it’s bookended by the Colts and Raiders – hardly defensive powerhouses.
I imagine a big part of the 2014–15 jump was due to everyone having a full season to learn Zimmer’s scheme, along with guys like Barr getting up to the speed of the NFL in general.
So I guess my question is where’s the next big leap coming from? What’s going to happen schematically or personnel-wise to lift them up into the conversation with Denver, Seattle, Carolina etc.? I know better corner play was highlighted here, but they were actually better against the pass than the run last season so is that really the biggest factor? Although that said, while they dealt well #1 receivers (ranked 9th) they were awful against #2 receivers, TEs, and RBs (25th, 25th, 22nd.)
Be good to hear from some Vikings fans on this. Feel like there’s something I’m missing here. A whole lot of fun parts on the defence, an exciting and creative coach, but still largely middling results. Is it just a matter of everyone getting more comfortable in their multiple roles?