PFF Preview: Vikings @ Buccaneers, Week 8

Kevin Connaghan previews this matchup between a pair of NFC teams with disappointing seasons and highlights who can have an impact on the game.

| 3 years ago

PFF Preview: Vikings @ Buccaneers, Week 8

2014-Prev-WK08-MIN@TBThe 2-5 Minnesota Vikings travel to take on the 1-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who will hope to bounce back after their bye week, two teams desperately trying to find their way with young quarterbacks at the helm.

The key for the Vikings is stopping the Buccaneers’ passing game. While Tampa Bay ranks just 24th for passing yards per game, over the last three games quarterback Mike Glennon has thrown for 865 yards and six touchdowns. However, Glennon has a -4.7 grade and 58% accuracy when Passing Under Pressure, so the Vikings can slow him down. Defensive end Everson Griffen leads the team with six sacks, but his 8.0 Pass Rushing Productivity ranks just 20th among qualifying ends. The team has had more joy through the middle, where Tom Johnson and Linval Joseph have four sacks each and PRP grades of 9.1 and 8.9, second- and fourth-best, respectively, among starting defensive tackles.

For the Buccaneers it’s all about stopping the run, forcing the game into the hands of Teddy Bridgewater (-6.0 passing grade in his last two games) and the NFL’s lowest-rated passing attack (184 yards per game). Four of the Buccaneers’ front seven have graded positively against the run, tackle Gerald McCoy (+2.4), end William Gholston (+4.7), and linebackers Lavonte David (+5.2) and Danny Lansanah (+2.2). Gholston is credited with 11 stops and a 10.0 Run Stop Percentage, second among starting defensive ends; David has 25 stops and a 14.1 Run Stop percentage; while McCoy and Lansanah have accounted for a further seven stops each.

Here are three more notable numbers for each side:

Minnesota Vikings

Anthony Barr – Barr has notched two sacks, two QB hits and six hurries, for a total of 10 pressures and a 12.7 Pass Rushing Productivity grade, which leads all starting rookie pass rushers. His +3.6 overall grade is the 10th-best recorded by a 4-3 outside linebacker.

Harrison Smith – Smith has three interceptions and allowed just 61.9% of passes into his coverage to be completed, on his way to a +7.3 grade in coverage, second-best among starting safeties.

Xavier Rhodes – Rhodes has allowed 1.08 Yards per Cover Snap, which leads all starting corners from the 2013 draft class.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Alterraun Verner – While he’s had difficulties settling into a struggling team, Verner was the second-ranked cornerback in the league in Week 5 with a +4.5 performance, where he allowed four catches for 42 yards on 10 throws into his coverage, as well as grabbing an interception.

Bobby Rainey – Forcing a total of 25 missed tackles, Rainey’s 88.0 Elusive Rating leads all running backs. He has also shown the ability to be dangerous in space with a 43.1 Breakaway Percentage.

Mike Evans – Evans’ 4.55 Drop Rate and 98.2 WR Rating rank third- and fourth-best among rookie wide receivers, respectively.

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| Analyst

Kevin has been an analyst at Pro Football Focus since 2014, with a particular focus on college football.

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