After their first 2 games of the 2009 season, the Vikings ranked 15th in the NFL against the rush, allowing 109 yards per game in contests against the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions.
Although it was premature at that point, outsiders began questioning whether the Vikings would stand up against the run in 2009 as they had the previous 3 seasons. Entering 2009, the Vikings were the 1st team since the AFL-NFL merger to lead the league in rushing defense for 3 consecutive seasons.
But since those first 2 games, the Vikings defense has continually ascended up the NFL rankings, improving to 12th after Week 3, hovering around 9th and 10th from Week 4 to Week 7 and then jumping to 7th two weeks ago.
After holding the Seattle Seahawks to just 4 yards rushing on Sunday, the Vikings defense has jumped up to #3 in the NFL and is allowing only 85.5 yards per contest.
“It’s number one on our list of things we (the defense) want to get accomplished for the season,” Vikings LB Chad Greenway said in the locker room after Sunday’s win. “Our defensive front is so good that it’s something we should be there and be number one. We haven’t been there this year, so it’s good to have a day like today. We need some more of those if we want to get back in this battle (for the top-ranked rushing defense).”
Judging by Greenway’s comments, it’s clear the Vikings defense takes pride in its ability to impose its will against opponents and stop the run.
As if the Vikings improvement against the run over the course of the season wasn’t bad enough news for upcoming opponents, the Vikings are now poised to see the return of CB Antoine Winfield, who will only strengthen the Purple’s ability to halt the opposing team’s rushing attack.
The Vikings next opportunity to shut down the run will come against the Chicago Bears, who will visit Mall of America Field next Sunday. The Bears averaged just 78 rushing yards per game against the Vikings last year and this year Chicago has the 29th-ranked rushing attack, with an 89.3-yard per game rushing average.
Tags: Antoine Winfield, Chad Greenway
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 2 Comments »