In a blog entry last week we mentioned that the Vikings still had a shot to finish the regular season with the #1 rushing defense, which would’ve marked the 4th consecutive season they accomplished such a feat.
At the time, they were 4th and right on the heels of the Bengals (#2) and Steelers (#3) and about 5.0 yards per game behind the Packers (#1).
As it turns out, the Vikings were indeed able to close the gap on all 3 teams ahead of them, but they weren’t able to vault up to the #1 spot. The Bengals surrendered 257 rushing yards to the Jets on Sunday night and fell all the way to 7th while the Steelers allowed Miami to net 99 rushing yards, which dropped them to 3rd.
All of that allowed the Vikings to jump up to #2 after holding the NY Giants rushing attack to just 35 yards on Sunday afternoon. The Packers, playing at Arizona against a barely-trying Cardinals club, held the home team to 48 net yards rushing and were able to hold off the Vikings for the #1 spot.
In the end, Green Bay finished the regular season allowing 83.3 rushing yards per game and 3.6 yards per attempt, while the Vikings finished close behind at 87.1 rushing yards per game and 3.9 yards per attempt. Even though the Vikings weren’t able to finish atop the league again in rushing defense, it was good to see them finish the season on a strong note by holding a Giants team that normally runs the ball well to just 35 net yards.
And, after all, boasting the 1st, 1st, 1st and 2nd-best rushing defenses in the last 4 years is nothing at which to scoff.
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 23 Comments »