Where do I even begin. Pass protection? I suppose that’s a good place to begin. How many of these guys can I begin to rant about? How many of these guys can I even recognize? Phil Loadholt and Matt Kalil I will leave out of this conversation. They are worthy and proven. The rest? They might as well be a failed Vince Papale, pulled off the streets of Minneapolis to fill in. They seem to be decent rush blockers, but how accurate can that be when you have arguably the greatest running back in Vikings history passing you before you can even hit a defender?
What this boils down to is, how can the Vikings improve their pass rush blocking? The last thing I’m worried about is rush blocking. If the Vikings were pressing forward with a mediocre rusher, this article might lean a different way, but that isn’t the case.
How can the Vikings improve their pass blocking? That’s the question that is deep in the subconscious minds of all fans. Can Christian Ponder get the job done? We may never know without a decent blocking line. The Vikings allowed an ungodly 44 sacks. How can we question what a QB can do when he has no time to throw the ball? Are there better quarterbacks out there than Ponder? Probably. But could he be better than what he’s shown? Yes. The line needs to improve.
John Sullivan, the starting center proved to be a decent starter with Kalil and Loadholt at tackles. Both proved worthy adversaries to defensive lineman. At least when it came to rush blocking. But without guard help, the line was crushed. Jeff Baca, and Brandon something or other (Fusco) started at guards on either side, and were obliterated up the center by overpowering defensive tackles.
THAT is where the Vikings offensive line needs to improve. Up the middle pass blocking. The guards were less than average which is why Peterson had more success up the B gap than the A. In any case, improvement at the guard position would increase the Vikings offensive production 10-fold.