Frazier Mindful Of Packers Explosive Passing Game

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 29, 2009 – 5:05 pm

Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said on Thursday that he wishes it was Adrian Peterson rushing 51 times and Brett Favre throwing 18 passes instead of the other way around against the Steelers last week.

While the Vikings preferred mode of operation is to establish the run and then just keep running it, the Packers have a different thought in mind. And considering how explosive their passing offense can be, one can’t blame them for preferring the air over ground.

Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers already has 24 passes of 20-plus yards, which ranks him tied for the 5th in the NFL. Of the QBs above him, all but 1 (Drew Brees) have played in 7 games compared to Rodgers’ 6.

Rodgers’ top targets are his starting WRs – Donald Driver and Greg Jennings. While it was Jennings who emerged last year with 1,292 receiving yards and 9 TDs, it’s Driver who has led the way this season.

Driver, a favorite target of Favre’s when he was wearing green and gold, currently ranks tied for 3rd among all NFL offensive players with 9 receptions of 20+ yards. In addition, Jennings averages 44.8 yards per 20+-yard reception.

“They’ve had a lot of explosive plays this season,” Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier explained. “We have to be mindful of it and we have to be able to defend those deep balls with Jennings and Driver.”

Last week against the Steelers, the Vikings gave up a 40-yard TD to rookie WR Mike Wallace and another 45-yard reception to WR Santonio Holmes. Those 2 plays represent an area in which the Vikings defense has struggled this year – giving up the big passing play.

The Vikings have allowed 27 receptions of 20+ yards, more than any other team in the league. On top of that, 7 of their 10 TD passes allowed have been of the 20+-yard variety, which is 4th highest in the NFL.

With a trip to Lambeau for a battle against an explosive passing game such as the Packers, Frazier’s bunch must improve in this area. But there’s reason to expect Frazier’s group will find a way to neutralize Rodgers and the Packers passing offense.

After allowing Ravens QB Joe Flacco to accumulate 385 passing yards in Week 6, most of them after CB Antoine Winfield left the game with a foot injury, Frazier and his unit turned around the next week without their star CB and held Pittsburgh’s passing offense to just 175 yards.

In addition, the Vikings held Driver and Jennings to a combined 86 yards on 7 receptions in the Vikings and Packers first meeting back in Week 4.

Frazier said on Thursday that aside from being in the proper position and executing the proper technique in coverage, the Vikings must also improve on one other area.

“And tackling; we’ve got to tackle if they make a catch,” Frazier emphasized. “You don’t want a 15-yard in or a 6-yard slant to be a 30-yard completion. You just make the tackle and give us a chance to play the next play and we’ll be fine.

“That’s what we’re emphasizing with our guys; no plays over the top.”

Tags: , ,
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Frazier Mindful Of Packers Explosive Passing Game”

  1. By Bruce on Oct 29, 2009 | Reply

    I just hope that the Viking players play all out for Brett and pay him back for the times he has been there for them. He needs them in this game more than ever!

  2. By Vikings Fan from Afar on Oct 29, 2009 | Reply

    Brett Favre and the Vikings don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Just go play fun.

  3. By Shah on Oct 29, 2009 | Reply

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Bruce.
    D-Line needs to play like they did in the first game, pass-defense must be on top of its game and tackling issues need to be resolved. The playing conditions are going to be sloppy and add crowd noise to it. Packer will have the upper hand at the beginning of the game. For Vikings to have any reasonable chance, AP will have to have a good game especially, if the conditions are wet. Favre will have to stay mistake free (although he’ll pumped up). Entire team will have to rise as they did before. This would be a great test for the Vikings to see if they’re up to the task and have big aspirations come playoff time!

  4. By troy on Oct 31, 2009 | Reply

    pack fan 1st, Brett fan 2nd, Viks SUCK 3rd GO PACK

  5. By Jodi on Nov 1, 2009 | Reply

    We need Allen and company to have a game like the first matchup and better play from the secondary. Frazier looks like a genius with what he has been able to accomplish with a group that prior to this season, I hadn’t really heard of. (besides Winfield) They hold up remarkebly well, but need to tackle better. The big plays given up this season have came when they weren’t tackling well. They will be ready for this game, and looking forward to them making a huge name for themselves today.

Post a Comment