The Minnesota Vikings didn’t have the worst offensive line in the NFL during the 2016 season according to Pro Football Focus, but they looked the part.
During the 2016 season, the Minnesota Vikings had some major troubles on offense. The inability to run the ball well as well as protect quarterback Sam Bradford led to many frustrating games for fans of the team around the world.
The only teams listed as being worse than the Vikings were the Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers, and Seattle Seahawks. Still, it’s hard to imagine a group struggling more than Minnesota, who lost multiple offensive tackles throughout the year.
PFF did give one bright spot in the unit, as it was one individual player who was not only the best overall on the offensive line, but had the best run blocking and pass blocking scores of any other lineman on the team.
Top overall grade: C Joe Berger, 85.0 (tied for No. 7)
Top pass-blocking grade:C Joe Berger, 87.9 (tied for No. 3)
Top run-blocking grade: C Joe Berger, 80.7 (No. 7)
Of course, PFF made mention of the injury to Matt Kalil, which forced the team to go to T.J. Clemmings at left tackle. After realizing they needed help there, the team picked up Jake Long in free agency, only for him to have a season ending injury to force Clemmings back into the lineup.
“Clemmings gave up nine sacks, 12 penalties, and 58 total QB pressures between right and left tackle over the year”
Keeping in mind that Clemmings has yet to be able to adjust to one single position, there is hope that he can clean up his game and be an effective lineman for the Vikings. Despite that, those numbers are disturbingly alarming.
Repairing the offensive line should be the Minnesota Vikings top priority this offseason. Whether the team looks to free agency, the draft, or trades to solidify the unit, the success of the team depends heavily on getting help, specifically at left tackle.