They have given up 320 points so far through 10 games. On their current pace, they are headed for 512 points surrendered, which would easily be the worst in franchise history. Unfortunately for Leslie Frazier, who comes from a defensive background, he currently owns the second-worst points allowed in franchise history – 449 points in 2011. Les Steckel's 1984 team has the record at 484 points surrendered.
"You're always evaluating your scheme and see what you can do better. I thought (Sunday) our defense did a lot of good things in that ballgame. They really did," Frazier said.
The Vikings gave up 41 points, but the Seattle Seahawks scored 20 points off turnovers. Still, the 41 points surrendered were the second-worst of the year. The worst, 44 points, came against the Green Bay Packers, the Vikings' opponent on Sunday who, fortunately for Minnesota's defense, are down to their third-string quarterback.
"Some of those points (against the Seahawks) weren't necessarily directly attributable to the defense, but it does go on the defensive stats, but yeah, you're always trying to evaluate your defensive schemes, always trying to improve what you're doing, always looking at your personnel, so you are always trying to do those things that help you get better, and we'll continue that as we get ready for this next ballgame," Frazier said.
The 320 points the Vikings have given up through 10 games is already more than they have given up in a full season 27 times in their history. During the 14-game era, they gave up fewer than 320 points 13 times, including 133 points in the vaunted 1969 season. In the 16-game era, which started in 1978, they gave up fewer than 320 for the season 14 times.
One of the issues for the Vikings is turnovers. They had four turnovers against the Seahawks, created none, and Seattle has never lost a game in which it had a plus-four advantage in the turnover ratio, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Vikings also haven't created many turnovers on defense.
In the first four games of the season, the Vikings had seven interceptions and five fumble recoveries. In their last six games, they have one interception and one fumble recovery.
"It can be cyclical and we're in a rut a little bit now," Frazier said. "We got the ball out (Sunday) with (Marshawn) Lynch, who's a very good back. … The ball was out. We weren't able to come up with it. Ball comes out against us, they were able to come up with it. That happens sometimes. Hopefully this will be the week that we'll get back on a roll again as far as taking the ball away."
The Vikings are 30th in total yards surrendered per game, 29th in net passing yards per game, 26th in sacks per pass play, 30th in first downs yielded per game, last in third-down efficiency, 28th in fourth-down efficiency, last in points per game, 29th in points per game differential, and 30th in net yards per game differential.
"The mood of the team is just trying to get better. We're not playing good ball right now. At times we do and it's like we fall apart," DE Brian Robison said. "We have yet to put together a four-quarter game. We've got to try to find a way to eliminate the mistakes, execute the calls that are made and capitalize on opportunities that are given to us."
The Vikings are the extreme example of giving up points, but scoring is up throughout the league. The 7,581 points scored through 11 weeks this year is the highest at this point in NFL history (the previous high was 7,368 last year).
The league is on a pace of 46.8 points per game. Vikings games are averaging 56 points a game, with an average score of opponents 32, Vikings 24.
Across the NFL, teams have combined to score 844 touchdowns, the most at this point in NFL history (812 in 2002 is second). Of the 844 touchdowns, 508 have been touchdown passes, the most through the first 11 weeks of any season. The previous high was 492 in 2010.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.