Off to a 5-0 start, ranked 3rd in the league in scoring and ranked 5th in the league in scoring defense can get a team to start feeling good about itself. Even though the Vikings can claim all 3 of the accomplishments listed above, Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said on Monday that he thinks his team has the proper mindset in light of its quick start.
“They are really pretty good at taking that (being 5-0) in,” Childress explained. “It is a fine line between being cocky and having a swagger and being beaten down and not thinking you are any good. You are always balancing that.
“I want them to think that they are good football team. Can we be a better football team? We absolutely can. When we go in here (to a meeting) we are going to look back at this last one and make those corrections and then embrace what we got to do this week.”
Childress indicated he was generally pleased with the way his team played on Sunday against the Rams, but he specifically referenced the pair of sacks allowed as an area that they’ll look to improve upon this week.
Favre was indeed sacked twice by the Rams, once on a safety blitz by O.J. Atogwe in the 1st quarter and then a 2nd time on a safety blitz by Craig Dahl.
“We had people (blockers) for those guys (that had the sacks),” Childress said. “We had a guy get physically beat and then we had a wrong call on the offensive line the one time. So that is something that we need to continue to work on. We are going to face a multiple defense this week.”
The defense to which Childress refers is the Baltimore Raven’s unit, which is one of the nastiest in the NFL and features perennial Pro Bowlers and defensive player of the year candidates LB Ray Lewis and S Ed Reed, among several other quality players.
The Ravens are an aggressive unit that loves to blitz on 3rd down (60% of the time). They rank 12th in the NFL with 11 sacks, while the Vikings offense ranks 19th in the NFL with 11 sacks allowed.
There might be an added twist to the chess match between the Vikings offense and Ravens defense on Sunday. Both teams will have to take into account former Vikings C and current Ravens C Matt Birk’s familiarity with the Vikings protection scheme under Childress from the 3 seasons prior to 2009. The Ravens might be picking Birk’s brain about how the Vikings operate and perhaps the Vikings are tweaking things to neutralize any advantage the Ravens might gain from Birk’s knowledge of the scheme.
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