3. The LA Chargers tackling was horrendous
As you can see, the defense deserves more blame in this one. While the defensive line did well in the trenches and in getting pressure on Cousins, there were also areas in which they struggled. However, the tackling issues were mostly on the second level.
Before even diving into the tackling problem, it is important to note this: Herbert and the offense very well could have struggled because they were unable to get in any sort of rhythm as they could not get on the field. Granted, some mistakes are simply mistakes, but that is a factor.
And part of the reason why the offense could not get on the field was the horrible tackling by the defense. Brandon Staley really stresses forcing takeaways and while that is a great mindset to have, it has also resulted in poor tackling.
Too many times do we see guys go for stripping the football instead of making a sure tackle. That makes a huge difference and the Vikings were able to come up with key conversions late in the game because of it.
Missed tackles kickstarted the Vikings' game-winning drive. The Vikings had second and 17 with 3:50 on the clock and ran a draw play to Dalvin Cook that picked up 11 yards. Jerry Tillery could have tackled Dalvin Cook at the line of scrimmage, tried an arm tackle and Cook got by him. Then Cook continued to plow through multiple defenders until eventually going down.
That allowed the Vikings to take a deep shot to Justin Jefferson. If it was third and 15 the Chargers would have played with more cushion and the ability to go up for a deep ball would have been hindered. Instead, the Bolts had to respect the underneath routes and got cooked over the top as a result.
The Bolts later had the Vikings in a third and 20 and completed an 18-yard pass to Adam Thielen to eventually convert on fourth down. While that was on the secondary, the lack of tackling kickstarted things and has become a constant problem.