MIN-DET Grades: Bridgewater, Diggs shine in Vikings win

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Vikings’ 28-19 win over the Lions.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Tom E. Puskar)

(AP Photo/Tom E. Puskar)

MIN-DET Grades: Bridgewater, Diggs shine in Vikings win


Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Vikings’ 28-19 win over the Lions.

Minnesota Vikings

– QB Teddy Bridgewater put together a solid outing on Sunday. He was particularly effective downfield on passes targeted 10+ yards downfield, where he completed seven passes for 147 yards and a touchdown. His two highest-graded games this season have now come against the Lions, with a +2.1 yesterday, and a +4.4 overall grade in Week 2.

– Rookie WR Stefon Diggs was impressive for the second-straight week, and looks to be working his way up the depth chart. He led the Vikings’ wide receivers in snaps played for the second consecutive week, playing 60 of 75 offensive snaps. Diggs had his way against Lions’ CB Rashean Mathis, hauling in five passes for 106 yards, capped by a beautiful diving catch for a touchdown on an out-and-up against the veteran.

– Granted, CB Xavier Rhodes was tasked with covering Calvin Johnson for the majority of the game, but it was his second-straight below-average outing. He allowed only four catches for 40 yards on five targets; however, one went for a touchdown and he was also penalized twice in coverage. His 10 penalties on the season are tied for the league lead with Brandon Browner, and of the 10, nine have been holding or pass interference penalties.

Top performers:

K Blair Walsh (+2.7)
DT Linval Joseph (+2.6)
QB Teddy Bridgewater (+2.1)
C Joe Berger (+2.1)
RG Michael Harris (+1.9)

 

Detroit Lions

– Outside of the one big run by RB Adrian Peterson, the Lions played pretty well against Minnesota. Peterson’s other 18 carries went for just 23 yards, six of which were for losses. Out of the 30 rushes by Viking running backs, they were hit at or behind the line of scrimmage 19 times. LBs Stephen Tulloch and Josh Bynes played great against the run, with +2.4 and +2.0 run defense grades, respectively.

– Just another day for WR Calvin Johnson (+2.3). He had five receptions for 86 yards, a touchdown, and a heroic catch to prevent a possible interception on a pass where QB Matthew Stafford was hit as he threw late in the game. His counterpart, Golden Tate, did not put forth a similar performance. Tate caught just two passes for 14 yards on six targets, with one dropped pass.

– DE Ezekiel Ansah seems to be doing just fine without having Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley playing alongside him. Ansah is our 10th-ranked edge defender so far in 2015 (82.8 rating). He had another solid outing this week, as he picked up seven total pressures on 27 pass rushes and two run stops.

Top performers:

DE Ezekiel Ansah (+3.7)
LT Riley Rieff (+3.4)
LB Josh Bynes (+2.6)
WR Calvin Johnson (+2.3)
DE Jason Jones (+2.1)

| Analyst

Matt has been an analyst for PFF since 2013. He is also a contributor to 120 Sports and a former NCAA Division-III football player.

  • Steven Macks

    Both of those Rhodes calls were as ticky-tack as they come. I’d take that trade-off, though, if it means keeping Calvin under wraps.

    • NAJ

      The 1 was a joke call as Johnson had his hands on Rhodes as well.

      • Steven Macks

        I could see calling off-setting penalties, maybe. I could see just letting it lie. But Barber might have been onto something when he talked about it being a reputation foul.

        • NAJ

          That surprised me when he said that. It’s sure to be 1 that Zim sends in to the league. If that’s a holding/PI call, Sherman would be called every single game for it

  • JonLee

    My favorite Bridgewater pass was the one Zach Line took for +40 yards. It was a checkdown but all Zach had to do was run straight forward.

    • Ben Knaak

      Yeah, it doesn’t matter how short their route is. When someone’s that wide open you throw to him.

      • Mnstorm99

        Us Viking fans are used to QB’s that don’t see the open man, nice to have one that can scan the field…

  • Luke Thompson

    The Vikings had seven sacks, gave up four sacks and the running backs were hit within the line of scrimmage 19 times out of 30 runs, yet somehow two Vikings o-lineman played better than all of the Vikings pass rushers and Harrison Smith? I don’t buy it in the slightest.

    • enai D

      Yeah, their grades have become fairly inexplicable. Have lost most of the trust/respect I used to have for PFF (which was quite a bit).

      • Luke Thompson

        I agree. I mainly use the grades as a check along with other sites. Can’t just take the PFF grades on their own anymore.

    • Josh Havlik

      Not to be a contrarian, I have some issues with PFF too, but I think a lot of those sacks came from blitzes. 6 out of 7 by my count. I think the d-line played ok, with the exception of Linval, who was good and also graded second highest on the team. On offense, most of the protection issues I saw came from Clemmings and Fusco, and also aggressive blitzing from DET. Ironically, blitzing setup the 75yd Peterson run. Live by the blitz, die by the blitz.

      • Luke Thompson

        I have to disagree. Haloti and Reid manhandled the interior of the Vikings d-line the entire game (4 qb hits, 8 tackles, 5 tfl, 1 sack). Bridgewater was hit 11 times total, most coming outside of Harris and Berger, but certainly not all. Harrison Smith I think is being discredited by PFF for the deep pass to Calvin which wasn’t his coverage at all as well as some other plays where he was covering for other’s mistakes (IE: he was close, but not because it was his assignment but instead because he read the play and peeled off). The only play I saw where he didn’t make a positive play was at the end of the game on fourth and goal on a ball that was dropped. No way does he grade out worse than any member of the Vikings O-line in my opinion. The sacks are a fair point, but I’d still argue members of the Vikings defensive front seven played better overall than the interior o-line. As a group, it’s no question, but as individuals, without watching the tape, I’d say there are a few being shafted here.

        • Josh Havlik

          I didn’t go back and watch the game, props to you if you did, but Krammer’s review on 1500espn says about the same as what I remember. A lot of the pressure came from LB and S blitzes causing miscommunication between the line. Fusco had a rough game. Clemmings got help all game to his side, and Kalil held up OK against Ansah 1 on 1. I think Harris may have been getting help from Clemmings on the Ngata which made his game look better than it was. It doesn’t matter a whole lot…I’d prefer to see less hits on Bridgewater, but when you lose the two best OLs you have for the year, some problems can be expected.

    • Ben Knaak

      You forget that the first quarter also has to be counted.