Vikings Rush Defense Still In The Mix For #1 Ranking

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 31, 2009 – 11:21 am

In 2008 the Vikings finished the season ranked #1 against the run, which made them the first team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger  to rank #1 against the run in 3 consecutive seasons (2006-2008). Their quest to duplicate the feat once again in 2009 got off to a rocky start, but quickly turned around and eventually the Vikings had the #2 ranked rushing defense in Week 12.

Now, however, after games against the Cincinnati Bengals (119 net rushing yards) and the Carolina Panthers (124), the Vikings defense has slipped a bit down to 4th in the NFL.

But, as the NFL is nearly set for its final week of the regular season, there is a chance the Vikings can climb up further in the rankings. And there’s an outside shot they could stake claim to the #1 ranking once again.

Here’s a look at the top 4 rushing defenses:

Team                     Yards Allowed Yards Per Game

1) Green Bay      1,285                    85.7

2) Cincinnati       1,316                    87.7

3) Pittsburgh      1,339                     89.3

4) Minnesota     1,359                     90.6
The first hurdle in front of the Vikings is their opponent, the NY Giants, who rank 12th in rushing offense with a 120.1-yard average per game. Helping the Vikings cause this week is that starting RB Brandon Jacobs is out for the Giants. While Ahmad Bradshaw is more than a capable starter, the Giants will be without their tandem plus Bradshaw is dealing with ankle and foot injuries.

If the Vikings are able to contain the Giants running game, they’ll have a legitimate chance to move up to #2 in the rankings and a very outside chance at moving up to #1.

The Steelers (#3) play at Miami on Sunday. The Dolphins have the league’s 4th-ranked rushing attack (142.1 yards per game). The Bengals (#2) play at the NY Jets, who have the NFL’s top-ranked rushing attack at 166.6 yards per game. Sitting 20 yards behind the Steelers and 43 yards behind the Bengals, the Vikings have a shot to move up (if they can take care of their own business against New York).

Green Bay, however, seems to have a pretty good hold on the #1 spot. They are 74 yards ahead of the Vikings through 15 games and they play at Arizona on Sunday. The Cardinals have the NFL’s 26th-ranked attack at 96.4 yards per game. While it’s possible the Vikings could leap ahead of Green Bay, it seems unlikely because of how much Arizona likes to pass the ball.

Even if the Vikings aren’t able to move up the rankings this week, their 2009 effort is nothing at which to scoff. They extended their streak of not allowing a 100-yard rusher to 36 games before Carolina’s Jonathan Stewart broke it up and they are tied with New England for the fewest rushing TDs allowed with 4.

Over the past 3+ seasons (2006-now), the Vikings have given up a total of 4,759 rushing yards, the lowest mark in the NFL over that time and opponents are averaging just 3.3 yards per carry over the same stretch, which is tied with the Baltimore Ravens for #1 in the NFL as well.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 17 Comments »

17 Responses to “Vikings Rush Defense Still In The Mix For #1 Ranking”

  1. By Kevin WI on Dec 31, 2009 | Reply

    Don’t care about this….only thing that matters right now is winning….I don’t care if NYG run for 200 yards…the Vikings HAVE to win!

  2. By Bigfan on Dec 31, 2009 | Reply

    Pro-bowl selection 8 players from the Vikings, the most in the NFL, they obviously have the most talented team, now they need a dose of CONFIDENCE and they’ll go ALL..THE..WAY.

  3. By HarvinFan12 on Dec 31, 2009 | Reply

    I agree with Kevin WI we need to win this week. We can with fundamentals like ball security.

  4. By Jim on Dec 31, 2009 | Reply

    VIKES- need to come out with the same type of offensive calls they had in the second half of the Bears game. Brett spreading the ball around, which in the end opens it up for AP. In return this gives the defense a chance to take a break. They spent alot of time on the field the 1st half last week. AP needs to learn sometimes its better to go out of bounds and live for another down. He does tend to fumble at critical times, but remember Sweetness had more fumbles his first 3 seasons then AP has, look how good his career was.
    GoVikings from Illinois

  5. By Tro on Dec 31, 2009 | Reply

    Big Fan I agree with you, 8 players to the Pro Bowl. Lets get it togeather Vikes

  6. By viks choke again on Dec 31, 2009 | Reply

    i hope Childress keeps his nose out of the playcalling, Farve does a much better job. actually, we could really use a coaching change anyway!

  7. By moorevikes on Dec 31, 2009 | Reply

    sorry to say but come playoff time it’s not the run we are going to have to worry about. lets see mcnabb with d. jackson, b. celeck, j. maclin, b. westbrook; brees with m. colston, j. shockey, r. bush, r. meachem; romo with m. austin, r. williams, j. witten; rogers with d. driver, j. finley, g. jenning; warner with l. fitzgerald, a. boldin, s. breaston. can anyone honestly make an argument that our db’s can cover these receivers and in some cases rb’s and we all know te’s have excellent games when they face us. and to think these teams have had most of these players for the last 3 yrs and chilly has done NOTHING (with the exception of getting j. allen) to better our pass def. we have great talent on off. but chilly runs a predictable game plan so all the talent in the world can’t do anything when the director is clueless on what it takes to win a game. go vikes FIRE CHILLY

  8. By moorevikes on Dec 31, 2009 | Reply

    i just can’t bring myself to be optimistic. i hope the vikings prove me wrong more than anything in the world. i will ALWAYS be a fan of the vikes. go vikes FIRE CHILLY

  9. By 4everpurple on Dec 31, 2009 | Reply

    Keep the hope alive gang !!! They had to get those out of their systems so nobody got the big head during the playoff’s. We as devoted Viking fans have been through much worse times than these. ( Anyone remember Jeff George ? ) We have the old bull at the helm, and the young bull in the backfield. This is as close to a superbowl as we have been in a long time so lets enjoy the ride ! SKOL… GO VIKINGS !!

  10. By fmfan on Dec 31, 2009 | Reply

    run D is not the problem we need to have a better pass D which starts with gettin to the QB !!!! Did anyone else notice once we tried passing down field our offense got going.. What took Favre so long to go down field(middle of 3rd quarter).

  11. By Bruce on Dec 31, 2009 | Reply


  12. By Jim on Dec 31, 2009 | Reply

    Our defense had NO business letting Cutler score 36 pts. We made him look good, that’s for sure! Defense needs to step it up, and offense needs to give Brett more time to find the open receivers. Makes me wonder who is calling the plays. Let Brett call the plays and we’ll be just fine. We may just need a new coach after this season is done. I hope we don’t go one & done when the playoffs arrive.
    (why did we ever let Sharper go? Now he’s with the Saints, and we all know how they are doing?!!)

  13. By Jeremy on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    We got the tools! “Now it’s time” to plug them in and use em!!! SKOL VIKES lets do this!

  14. By Bryan on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    There are so many good players on this team. I don’t see why this team can’t make a superbowl run. Think positive people and let’s get this thing done. SKOL VIKINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. By NJVikingfan on Jan 2, 2010 | Reply

    I called it at the begining of the season. Since Chill has been the head coach he has improved two wins over the previous year. That means the Vikes will kick some perverbial ass and beat the Giants. For the first time in my life I’m cheering for the Cowboys to beat the Eagles. I want revenge from last year so the Vikes meet the Eagles and turn the tables. I despise the Eagles, living near Philly listening to all their obnoxious fans.

    Come on Vikes, kick some Eagle unadulterated rear end of a donkey.

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