Key to the Vikings ability to hold the Detroit Lions to just 10 points in victory on Sunday at Mall of America Field was the pass rush, where Lions QB Matthew Stafford was on his back looking up at the Teflon sky just as often as he was looking downfield at his receivers.
“Defensively, I thought they did a great job of hitting the quarterback,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said on Monday of his defense. “Any time you can do that [and] make a guy move his feet, I don’t care if he’s a first-year guy or a tenth-year guy, anytime you can make him trick his feet in the pocket he’s not going to be as accurate as he’d like to be.”
Stafford completed just 29 of 51 passes on the day. The 56.8% completion rate represents a 2.5% increase over his season average but one must also consider that Stafford’s yards per pass attempt on Sunday against the Vikings was 4.4, which is more than a yard below his season average of 5.6.
The most frequent violator of Stafford’s personal space on Sunday was Vikings DE Ray Edwards, who registered 2 of the Vikings 3 sacks and hit the rookie QB a total of 4 times. As a team, the Vikings hit Stafford 13 times.
“Ray Edwards was outstanding,” Childress said. “He had a heck of a game.
“I thought he did a great job of studying the guy he was going to play against this week. He had a plan that he wanted to go in and attack that guy with.”
Edwards is on track for a career season, having already established a new season-high in sacks with 5.5 through 9 games and his 5 tackles on Sunday against Detroit have him on pace to set a new season-high in tackles as well. Childress credits a few things for Edwards’ continued development in the Vikings defense.
“He’s grown in the system,” Childress commented. “He’s a guy that does a good job taking care of himself. He’s learned. He doesn’t put the same stuff out there all of the time. He’s a high-motor guy; he makes as many chase plays as he does running over the top of the tackle or run plays or sacking the quarterback. So he’s a high-motor guy all the time, not just on his side of the field.”
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