Key player driving Vikings success is entirely unheralded

One player driving Vikings success is going entirely unheralded outside of Minnesota circles. Put some respect on the big man’s name!

Offensive lineman may be paid well in raw finances, but in terms of social capital, they go entirely underappreciated. They do the dirty work that allows the flashier parts of the offense to shine.

A great quarterback can often be held back entirely by a bum offensive line. And a running back can’t get his yardage without some adequate blocking.

So it should be no surprise that one of the reasons the Minnesota Vikings, a surprise 7-1 team, are doing well in part thanks to an offensive tackle.

Give Christian Darrisaw some credit for Vikings success

Pro Football Focus recently put this graphic out:

Christian Darrisaw is PFF’s second-best graded tackle. A deeper examination of his page tells us he has zero penalties and no forced sacks this year on 534 snaps. Doesn’t get much better than that for a guy playing one of the harder positions (left tackle) in the game to play.

He’s been the highlight of a unit performing pretty well as a whole. The most pocket time any QB has had this year on average? 2.6 seconds. Kirk Cousins is getting 2.5.

While Cousins gets to flex blinged out on the team plane, guys like Darrisaw deserve just as much credit.

For what it’s worth, Cousins has actually been hit quite a bit. He’s taken 42 hits and received 85 pressures, the most of any QB. But he’s 16th in sacks, which shows that despite the pressures, he and the offensive line are doing a good job of evading losses in the pocket.

Most of the sacks have come from the right side, with Ed Ingram, right guard, giving up 7 according to PFF. He has the worst PFF grade on the starting line at 56.3.

Darrisaw is in just his second year in the NFL, clearly making strong first impressions only up from here. Big contract incoming!

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