Vikings Defense Closing Out Games In The 4th Quarter

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 30, 2009 – 1:47 pm

During a 4-game mid-season stretch from Week 4 to Week 7, the Vikings defense had a negative 4th-quarter scoring margin in 3 of 4 contests, including a -8 margin against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6 that almost cost them the game.

In Week 4 against Green Bay, a -7 scoring margin almost cost the Vikings a victory late in the game and then in Week 7 at Pittsburgh the Vikings were outscored 14-7 in the 4th quarter along the way to their first loss of the season. At that point in time, the trend of negative scoring margins in the final quarter of the game was a concern.

But since then, the Vikings have rectified the problem and have won their past 4 contests going away, with 4th-quarter scoring margins of +8, +10, +1 and +9. Against the Bears on Sunday, the Vikings allowed only 2 net yards in the 2nd half.

The key to the Vikings turnaround in this aspect of the game is partly the learning experience they gained from that mid-season stretch. Asked if he and his teammates thought they had Sunday’s game in their “back pocket” after interceptions by Bears QB Jay Cutler, Vikings LB Chad Greenway cited their history of 4th-quarter let downs and insisted this defense takes nothing for granted.

“Well, you never know what’s in your back pocket,” Greenway said. ” We’ve had other games, like Baltimore, where you’ve had games put away and teams come back on you. You know they’re capable of that, especially with the offense they have over there.  You just have to avoid the big plays and make tackles.”

An improvement in tackling and a continued pass rush has allowed the Vikings to close out games recently. With the exception of a Justin Forsett TD last week against Seattle, the Vikings haven’t surrendered any scores in the 4th quarter since they came back from their bye in Week 10.

“We are tackling better in the second half, and that was our number one goal for the second half of the season,” Greenway explained. “We want to continue to maintain that. Do the simple things well, and play fundamentally well.”

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Vikings Defense Closing Out Games In The 4th Quarter”

  1. By purplehorn on Nov 30, 2009 | Reply

    I’ve said this before on this blog but I can’t remember a more balanced team than the one the Vikings have right now. Like a high performance engine….balanced and blueprinted. If the offense continues to keep opposing teams on the bench, that makes our defense that much stronger in the fourth quarter. Pat Williams PANCAKED Cutler on one pocket collapse. You just know that has got to hurt when Big Pat slams you down and lands on you!!!! He had the biggest smile on his face yesterday, the whole team did.
    This is like Texas Hold-Em though. Don’t show too much and don’t peak just yet. Save that for the playoffs.

  2. By dee expacker fan on Nov 30, 2009 | Reply

    Purplehorn…I agree. Hopefully, the team hasn’t peaked yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!Go Vikes.

  3. By HANK on Dec 1, 2009 | Reply

    this is a great team….but the saints could be a very tough foe

  4. By PAVikesFan on Dec 1, 2009 | Reply

    thing is, I’m not really worried about us peaking, b/c Favre is still trying to improve his timing with our WR’s, to me, that can only improve…as long as he spreads it sround, defenses will have a tough task defending us…I just hope AP can run a bit better, he only has 2 100-yd. rushing games this season, that’s crazy, especially since the way #4 is playing, you’d have thought that he would have 4x what he has…he looks for the home run too often, is not patient enough, I just think his first 2 years he was so accustomed to hitting big runs, and now that they arent coming as easy, he’s getting frustrated…I notice that when Chester Taylor comes in the game it seems like he rips off some nice gains at times…AP just needs to trust his blockers, and if there is a cut-back lane, take it, but don’t make a cut-back if there isnt one

  5. By PAVikesFan on Dec 1, 2009 | Reply

    easy for me to say, in the comforts of my home, just being a Monday morning QB on a Tuesday

  6. By SUPERBOWL CHAMPS on Dec 2, 2009 | Reply

    This team is FAR from peaking!!!

    Still ALOT more improvements!!!!

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