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Minnesota Vikings: Working Their Way to the Worst Pass Defense in History

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 18: Jamarca Sanford #33 of the Minnesota Vikings pumps up the crowd during the second quarter against the New Orleans Saints on December 18, 2011 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Matt KasperCorrespondent IINovember 27, 2016

Last week I wrote about how the Minnesota Vikings were on pace for the fourth-worst passing defense in history, as rated by the Defensive Quarterback Rating (DQBR) on pro-football-reference.com. Well, if you thought it was bad last week, the Vikings have made it worse with their pathetic effort against the New Orleans Saints this past weekend.

In the 42-20 loss, the Vikings allowed Drew Brees and Company to complete 32-of-41 passes for 412 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. This gave the Saints a QB rating of over 145.

As of last week, the DQBR for the Vikings was 107.1, good for fourth worst all-time (excluding the Houston Oilers' nine-game strike-shortened season). Well, after this week the Vikings have moved into second place as their DQBR jumped to 110.8. They now are only a 10th of a point away from the worst pass defense of all time, the 2008 Detroit Lions with a rating of 110.9.

The Vikings have two games left this season, at Washington and home against Chicago. Neither of these teams possess a stellar passing game, and so the Vikings hope that they can avoid a historically bad season.

Washington comes into this week with an overall team QB rating of 72.7. Rex Grossman will be the starter for the Redskins. While Grossman is 3-1 in his career against the Vikings, he has only a 55.7 career QB rating in those games.

In the final week, Chicago will be coming to Minnesota with a possible playoff spot on the line if things go right for them next weekend. Either way, Jay Cutler won't be back for this game. Cutler was having a very nice season prior to his injury, and his replacement has not come close to continuing his success.

Caleb Hanie (41.8 QB rating) will likely be the starter in Week 17. If not Hanie, then the Bears would likely be looking to veteran Josh McCown, who has eight pass attempts since 2007.

If the Vikings manage to continue their poor defense against these last two teams and surpass the 2008 Detroit Lions mark for futility, then they will have certainly earned their title of "Worst Pass Defense Ever."

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