At I Dislike Your Favorite Team, Big Blue Monkey 2 suggests the Viking defense has been overrated:
"The Vikings defense has been overrated for the last three years--yes, they are great at stopping the run. They've got huge fat guys who fart on the opposing offensive linemen, and let their linebackers stuff the run. They've been great at it. But they've got no real sense in the secondary, and their best players back there are getting older every year."
The suggestion seems based on a common misconception about the team: that it is great at stopping the run but poor at stopping the pass.
It is true that the 2006, 2007, and 2008 Viking defenses have been dominant stopping the run.
2006: 985 yards (#1), 2.8 yards per attempt (#1)
2007: 1,185 yards (#1), 3.1 yards per attempt (#2)
2008: 1,230 yards (#1), 3.3 yards per attempt (#2)
It is also true that these defenses gave up a lot of passing yards.
2006: 3,818 (#31)
2007: 4,225 (#32)
2008: 3,449 (#18)
A closer look, however, reveals that the Vikings gave up a lot of passing yards because they faced a lot of passing attempts:
2006: 599 (#32)
2007: 646 (#32)
2008: 530 (#22)
Because teams failed to run against the Vikings, they attempted a lot of passes. A look at the net yards per attempt numbers shows that the Viking defense was about average in 2006 and 2007, and good in 2008:
2006: 6.1 (#18)
2007: 6.2 (#17)
2008: 6.0 (#8)
In 2008, Jared Allen keyed a Viking pass rush that had 45 sacks, fourth in the league. The 2006 and 2007 Viking defenses were dominant against the run and competent against the pass; the 2008 Vikings became a complete defense (#6 in yards allowed) when they added a pass rush.
Overall, the Vikings have been a very good defensive team. In the 49 games the Vikings played from 2006 to 2008, they gave up one or zero offensive touchdown in 27 of them. Let's make this clear:
In 55% of the Viking games in the past three seasons, the defense allowed zero or one touchdown.
The Viking defense has performed very well for three years, and in 2008, it became a unit capable of guiding a team to championship contention. The Vikings have not been a championship caliber team, however, because of questionable coaching, poor quarterbacking, inconsistent receivers, and poor special teams. Big Blue Monkey 2 is correct that it cannot all be pinned on Tarvaris Jackson (though I'm doubtful Jackson will become a good quarterback--his biggest weakness is inconsistent accuracy, and I don't know that that will improve with experience). And while "overrated" is a subjective term, I think Big Blue Monkey 2 is incorrect to claim the Viking defense has been overrated.
I'd also argue with Big Blue Monkey 2's apparent hinting that Antoine Winfield was not Pro Bowl caliber in 2008 by citing Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders: "The charting numbers show Winfield with 5.5 yards allowed per pass and a 67 percent Success Rate, second among cornerbacks with at least 40 charted passes. [...] If you prefer league PBP to game charting, I can tell you that Winfield had 56 pass tackles and a 45 percent Stop Rate on those tackles, the best Stop Rate of any cornerback if we include only pass tackles and not passes defensed."