Protection issues continue to plague the Vikings offensive front. The unit allowed four more sacks in Sunday’s 38-7 loss to Seattle and are now giving up an average of almost three a game.
Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been sacked 34 times this season, tied for the fourth-most in the NFL.
Constant pressure has also hindered Bridgewater’s ability to make plays and develop the Vikings’ passing game after falling behind early. Bridgewater threw for just 118 yards on Sunday with no touchdowns.
“As an offensive line, we’re going to take it personally this week,” Vikings left guard Brandon Fusco said Monday morning at Winter Park. “We could do a better job. Protection should be a lot better to make Teddy more comfortable in the pocket.
“Protection is not just on the offensive line. It’s O-line, running back, tight ends, receivers, quarterback. So it’s a team effort. I think that’s something we’re really going to emphasize on this week. Hopefully we get back to what we do best, run the ball, and it helps out the passing game.”
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has pointed out throughout season that Bridgewater could do a better job making quick passes and getting rid of the ball, but Fusco said O-line needs to give their quarterback the protection he needs.
They’ve only played three games without a sack, including the Week 12 victory at Atlanta, and have allowed 14 in the last four games.
“We take it personally that we’re not giving Teddy enough time to develop plays and mike his read. I think it’s just going to have to be an emphasis for the rest of the season. It’s got to be a lot better. We’ll put it on our shoulders and see where it takes us.
“We’ve got a good group of guys [on the offensive line]. We’re hard workers, we’re willing to get better each week, we just have to keep being more consistent up front in protection and give Teddy the time he needs.”