Vikings Defense On Red Alert In Red Zone

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 13, 2009 – 6:22 am

The statistic that had the most profound impact on the outcome of Sunday’s game between the Vikings and Rams (besides, you know, points scored) was red zone efficiency.

The Vikings offense was perfect in the red zone, scoring TDs on all 4 of their trips and needing just 8 total plays inside the Rams 20-yardline. But the Vikings defense was perfect in the red zone, too, holding St. Louis to 0 TDs in 4 trips (they gave up a FG on one trip).

As a result, the Vikings notched their 5th victory of the season via a 38-10 thrashing of St. Louis.

St. Louis’ shortcomings in the red zone were the product of turnovers. While the Vikings scored quickly upon entering the red zone, the Rams labored inside the Vikings 20-yardline, running a total of 14 plays. Those 14 plays provided enough time for the Vikings to register 3 takeaways inside the 5-yardline.

“They are doing a great job of breaking on the football, whether you are talking about (Chad) Greenway’s hit and E.J. (Henderson) rallying behind that, or you’re talking about Tyrell Johnson’s interception,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said of his defense. “I just think they are doing a great job of running to the football and moving to the football when the ball comes out.”

Childress pointed out that even on the Rams 1st red zone turnover – a failed exchange between QB Kyle Boller and RB Steven Jackson on the 1-yardline – the Vikings defense is to be credited for making a play.

“Then obviously on the one where I guess there was an exchange issue you have to be aggressive from the standpoint of penetration, knowing where the ball is and being able to cover that thing up,” Childress explained. “So I just thought they were on top of it down there (in the red zone). They picked their game up down there.”

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