During last April’s draft the Vikings used 2 of their 5 picks on DBs, selecting CB Asher Allen in the 3rd round and S Jamarca Sanford in the 7th round.
During Sunday’s 35-9 victory over Seattle at Mall of America Field, the Vikings saw both Allen and Sanford contribute to the winning effort.
Allen recorded 1 tackle and 1 pass defensed, but also snared his 1st career INT in the 4th quarter when he made an athletic play to catch one of Matt Hasselbeck’s passes before it hit the turf. Sanford met Seahawks kick returner Ben Obomanu in the 2nd quarter and forced him to fumble the ball, allowing Heath Farwell to cover it up.
Allen has been a vital part of a trio of players (Allen, Karl Paymah and Benny Sapp) who’ve stepped up their performances in the stead of CB Antoine Winfield, who has been out since the 1st half of Week 6 with a foot injury. Sanford has been a core member of the Vikings kick coverage units all season and his production is far above what a team normally receives from a 7th round pick.
[Note: The official play-by-play report on NFL.com credits the forced fumble to Eric Frampton. Upon my review of the play, it appears Sanford is the one who actually forced it.]
Tags: Asher Allen, Jamarca Sanford
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In the vikings.com Game Summary of today’s 35-9 Vikings win over Seattle, we identified the game-deciding moment was the 2nd-quarter fumble recovery by the Vikings special teams unit and subsequent Bernard Berrian TD reception that made the score 21-0 just before halftime.
It was fitting that the game-deciding play was turned in by the special teams. Both the Vikings offense and defense put together complete performances, so the big special teams play – the fumble was forced by S Jamarca Sanford and recovered by Farwell – allowed that unit to contribute significantly as well.
While speaking with reporters after the game, Vikings LB Chad Greenway, who plays on the Vikings kick coverage unit, spoke about that crucial play.
“The biggest play of the game to me was the special teams play,” Greenway said. “The unbelievable hit and play. We have wanted that for years and we finally got one and now we can get those things rolling and we can feed off of that. It makes our offense and defense better.”
Tags: Chad Greenway
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It was tenuous after the Vikings 1st drive when a penalty derailed them, but since then the Vikings have taken firm control of the game and lead 21-0 at halftime.
The Vikings 3 TDs have all come on passes. Favre has hit Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe for scores and the veteran QB is an impressive 14 of 16 for 128 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs. RB Adrian Peterson has 63 yards on 13 carries and Chester Taylor has chipped in with 5 carries for 30 yards and 2 receptions for 12 yards.
As impressive as those stats are for the Vikings offense, the defense has been just as impressive. Seattle has just 61 total yards and only 2 first downs on the game. QB Matt Hasselbeck has been responsible and accurate, but just hasn’t been able to get anything going. RB Justin Forsett has been bottled up all day and has only 3 yards rushing.
After the Vikings scored their 2nd TD of the game midway through the 2nd quarter, Seattle kick returner Ben Obomanu was stripped by Vikings S Jamarca Sanford and then LB Heath Farwell recovered the fumble. A few plays later after an Adrian Peterson run got the Vikings to the 5-yardline, Favre hit Berrian for a TD to take the 21-0 lead.
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The Vikings scored their 2nd TD of the game and it was on a quick slant from Brett Favre to TE Visanthe Shiancoe.
The TD by Shiancoe gives him 7 for the season and puts him 1 away from tying Joe Senser’s record for TD receptions by a TE in a season.
The Vikings are on the goal line now, so maybe the record-tyer is coming.
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The Vikings released their list of inactive players for today’s tilt against the Seahawks and for the 4th straight game CB Antoine Winfield will not suit up.
Winfield is of course dealing with a foot injury that he suffered in Week 6 against Baltimore and it appeared he had a decent chance at playing today after practicing the last 2 weeks. But, the Vikings have decided to give him 1 more weekend off and now it looks as if #26 will make his return next week for a big divisional showdown with Chicago.
CB Benny Sapp will start in Winfield’s absence again and both Asher Allen and Karl Paymah will also see extended time again. Paymah was also dealing with an injury this week and was listed as questionable on Friday, but he’ll suit up as part of the committee to replace Winfield.
Considering how important Winfield is to the Vikings defense because of his cover skills and tackling ability, this trio of CBs listed above have done a nice job in Winfield’s stead. They will be tested today, however, because the Seahawks have Matt Hasselbeck at QB and a talented corps of receivers that include TE John Carlson and WRs Deion Branch, Nate Burleson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
Hasselbeck has been to the Pro Bowl and his receivers this year rank 3rd in the NFL in % of receiving yards coming after the catch (54.2%).
Tags: Antoine Winfield, Asher Allen, Benny Sapp, Karl Paymah
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Here are the Vikings inactives for today’s game against the Seahawks:
QB Sage Rosenfels (3rd QB), WR Jaymar Johnson, CB Antoine Winfield, RB Albert Young, LB Erin Henderson, C Jon Cooper, DT Fred Evans, and DE Jayme Mitchell.
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Are you following the Vikings on Twitter? If not, you should because just like the vikings.com Blog, it’s a great way to stay on top of Vikings news.
It’s an especially great way to follow the Vikings on game day. We’ll have the active/inactive players prior to the game, score and injury updates during the game and any breaking news after the game.
Remember, you don’t need a Twitter account yourself to follow the Vikings on Twitter. Just go to Twitter.com and follow @VikingsFootball.
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