Vikings haven’t beaten many quarterbacks like Seahawks Russell Wilson

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 15: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks warms up before the game against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field on November 15, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 15: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks warms up before the game against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field on November 15, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

The Vikings rank highly against the pass, but they haven’t beaten many quarterbacks as good as the Seahawks Russell Wilson.

The Minnesota Vikings have a reputation as a tough pass defense. It’s worth a closer look to see exactly who they’ve earned that ranking against. I guarantee you, they haven’t been that great against quarterbacks like Russell Wilson. Not that there are a lot of quarterbacks like the Seahawks Wilson, anyway.

Let’s establish the Vikings credentials first. They rank ninth in passing yards allowed, which is pretty good in itself. They’re the best in the league at keeping receivers out of the end zone, though. Minnesota has allowed just 15 touchdown catches all year. The Seahawks have given up 22.

So the stats look pretty good for the Vikes. But do they really hold up? The one stat that rules them all is wins. That tells a different story for Minnesota. Here are the five quarterbacks that beat them: Josh Allen, Jared Goff, Mitch Trubisky, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady.

I know, how did Josh Allen get in that group? That Buffalo game was the outlier of all outliers, as Allen’s passer rating was 111.2. His second best effort was two weeks ago against the Jaguars, with a whopping passer rating of 89.8. Yes, he stinks, but he managed to be exceptional against the Vikings.

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On the flip side, Mitch Trubisky had one of his worst games when he faced the Vikings last week. He threw two picks against just one touchdown, yielding his worst passer rating of the season,  61.9. So Minnesota’s pass defense came through for them that time. That’s a lot more than can be said for their performances against the other three quarterbacks that have beaten them. Passer ratings for those three games: Goff, 158.3; Brees, 84.8; Brady, 102.5.

Yeah, I tied to sneak that bad game by Brees past you. No way around it, Brees had one of his worst games of the season versus Minnesota. Brady certainly held up well, and Goff’s perfect rating makes up for it. Plus there’s that weird, witchy game by Josh Allen. The Vikes pass defense is good, certainly, but they’ve been shredded more than once.

Seahawks really aren’t that far behind the Vikings pass defense

Even in wins, the Vikings pass defense hasn’t been completely unscathed. They have a tie and a win versus the Green Bay Packers in 2018. Aaron Rodgers had passer ratings of 97.4 and 94.0 in those games. Below his season average of 99.3, granted, but not awful, either. In their win over the Eagles, Carson Wentz had a passer rating of 115.3.

Minnesota did give Detroit a pretty good thrashing, and held Matthew Stafford to a rating of 83.0. Then again, he seems to be in something of a tailspin ever since the Lions traded away Golden Tate. With Tate, he had five straight games with a rating over 100, followed by 96.9 versus the Seahawks. Without his safety valve, his best rating is 87.7. Just saying it wasn’t just the Vikings defense that set Stafford down.

For comparison, the Seahawks allowed the following passer ratings to common opposing quarterbacks: Trubisky, 83.0; Rosen, 88.5; Goff 88.2 and 113.0; Stafford 96.9 (with the Golden one, remember); and Rodgers 128.7. For the record, the Vikes held Rosen to a 77.4 rating. Overall, Minnesota’s pass defense has held up better than Seattle’s. I suppose the Nick Mullens fiasco is our version of their Josh Allen letdown. Except Seattle won by over three touchdowns, instead of lose by three.

While the Vikings do have a solid pass defense, they’re not exactly the Purple People Eaters of days gone by. Or the Seahawks Legion of Boom, for that matter. And as I said at the start, there aren’t many quarterbacks like Russell Wilson. Wilson is now fourth in the league in passer rating. He’s just ahead of Jared Goff, who annihilated the Vikings. DangeRuss is well behind leader Drew Brees, who didn’t play well, but still didn’t lose to Minnesota, either.

The guys in purple haven’t seen a player like Wilson since the last time they played Seattle. Wilson shredded the Vikes with three touchdown passes and added a fourth on the ground almost three years ago to the day. Number 3’s career passer rating versus the Vikings is a snappy 142.0, with eight touchdown passes and zero picks. A lot has changed since 2015, to be sure. But Wilson is even better.