Robert Rodriguez returned for his 4th season with the Vikings, serving as the team’s assistant defensive line coach. Rodriguez will again work closely with veteran defensive line coach Andre Patterson in their 4th season together with the Vikings.
In 2017, the defensive line once again provided a lethal pass rush that rattled opposing quarterbacks and stopped the run at an impressive rate. DE Everson Griffen (3rd honor) and DT Linval Joseph (2nd honor) earned trips to the Pro Bowl for the second straight year while Griffen also received his first All-Pro honor (second-team). The defense finished out the regular season ranked as the #1 total and scoring defense, allowing just 15.8 points per game and 275.9 yards per game. Joseph was crucial in stopping the run as the Minnesota defense surrendered just 20 runs of 10+ yards, tops in the league and tied with the San Francisco 49ers in 1995 for the fewest since 1991. Griffen began the year with a sack in each of the team’s first eight games, tied for the longest streak to start a season in NFL history, and helped hold opponents to a 25.2 percent 3rd-down conversion rate, best in the NFL since 1991.