The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a really bad defense. They own the NFL's worst scoring defense, allowing a whopping 34 points per game. Leslie Frazier's defense – yes, the same Frazier that coached the Vikings for three and a half years – has been ripped apart in three of its last four games, allowing 56 points against the Falcons, 37 against the Saints and 48 against the Ravens.
And it could have been worse. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco threw five touchdown passes in the first 17 minutes of his game against the the Bucs two weeks ago.
The Vikings finished dead last in scoring defense last year under Frazier, his last season as head coach in Minnesota.
“It’s going to be a little weird just knowing my old head coach (is across the field),’’ Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright told the Pioneer Press this week. “He was a good guy. I always wish the best for him, but I have to go out and try to get the win for my team.’’
But as ESPN's Ben Goessling put it, the Vikings will be happy to see their old coach for the simple fact that Frazier's defense might allow the Viking offense to wake up.
Minnesota owns the 30th ranked scoring offense in the league, averaging 17.1 points per game.
The last time the Vikings and Bucs played it was a Thursday night blowout at Mall of America Field. Back in 2012, Tampa Bay's then rookie running back Doug Martin ran for 135 yards and scored on a 64-yard reception. And as the Tampa Bay Tribune points out, it was a guy named Josh Freeman picking apart the Vikings' defense.
As fate would have it, Freeman was eventually cut by the Bucs and signed by the Vikings in what turned out to be one of the NFL's oddest stories of 2013. Oddly enough, Tuesday was the one-year anniversary of Freeman's only game played with the Vikings.
It was a disaster on Monday Night Football against the Giants. Freeman set all kinds of bad records.
A lot has changed since then... for both teams.