Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler, 27, is shown timed out during an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, November 22, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Folks, I do my best to approach the glass half full.
Yesterday’s loss to the Browns was painful. We looked totally inept and uninspired, although you could argue that the game was more important than the one in Seattle. As I warned, our offense was in trouble when Cleveland found a way to neutralize the short and intermediate areas of the field. The result was much deeper passes of the offense, leading Cleveland to a whopping 30 pressure.
As you can see, I’m as disheartened as the next guy when it comes to the purple offense. But what about Cam Dantlzer?
Like many of you, I’ve been pushing for Dantzler to start for a while. I admit the postgame tweets aren’t great, but he’s clearly the better CB2.
Bashaud Breeland started the game yesterday with another mental error that resulted in a decent finish.
After that error, Dantzler entered the game. He played the rest of the way, finishing with 72 defensive snaps (92% overall). He finished with 5 tackles and showed good decisiveness and physicality as a running defender. He has always been good against the run.
He also made an impact in pass defense. here’s what PFF to say about our secondary in its entirety: “The Vikings secondary was arguably the team’s strongest unit in Week 4, smothering the Browns’ passing attack in the loss. The group did not allow a single Cleveland pass-catcher to finish with more than five receptions.” Of course, the other defensive backs deserve some credit. However, it’s no coincidence that the unit played better when Dantzler was there. Baker Mayfield was terrible yesterday; Dantzler was still solid.
At the end of the day, Dantzler was one of Minnesota’s best defenders, finish with a 74.5 PFF quality. For the season, Breeland has a score of 32.0, the last overall in PFF‘s ranking.
We now move on to a week 5 matchup with the Detroit Knee Biters. Playing the Lions during a slump is like getting a nice bowl of chicken soup when you’re sick. It’s a real comfort, something that makes you feel better.
Dantzler clearly deserves to start next week. I don’t want to see Jared Goff long bombs while Breeland watches, confused about his reporting assignment. No, give me Dantzler and give me a 2-3 record.