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By Sack Or By Bat-Down, Vikings D-Line Will Be Key

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 23, 2010 – 11:22 am

The Vikings last week faced a Dallas Cowboys team that finished the regular season ranked as the NFL’s 6th best passing offense, a unit that included the NFC’s leading receiver in Miles Austin and a versatile TE in Jason Witten who registered 94 receptions on the season.

Thanks to a fierce pass rush from the Vikings 4 down linemen – including 3.0 sacks from DE Ray Edwards – the Vikings were able to drop 7 defenders in coverage for much of the game. This tactic allowed the Vikings LBs and secondary to cover up QB Tony Romo’s options for much of the game and it ultimately resulted in just 156 net yards of passing for the Cowboys, their lowest output since Week 11 at Washington and their 3rd lowest output of the entire season.

Along with the Vikings defensive line, other players had key roles in the Vikings ability to shutdown the Dallas passing attack. LB Ben Leber had an INT, CB Benny Sapp played well on the outside while Antoine Winfield handled nickel duties superbly and 2nd-year S Tyrell Johnson logged a solid performance.

“Yeah, I didn’t see any pauses,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said of Johnson. “I thought he was pretty fluid. He knew what he was seeing and did a great job of reacting on time. He played a pretty good football game.”

The Vikings face a similar challenge this weekend, although the New Orleans Saints represent a taller task. QB Drew Brees has guided the NFL’s 4th-rated pass offense beautifully, leading the NFL in TD passes during the regular season with 34 and also registering a league-high passer rating of 109.6.

“He knows that offense like the back of his hand,” Childress said of the New Orleans QB. “It is hard to catch him in the pocket and he usually hits his back foot and lets the ball go. He is passionate about what he does. He understands that offense’s movements. He is an anticipatory thrower.”

Adding to the challenge for Minnesota is that they’ll be playing on the road instead of at Mall of America Field, where a raucous home crowd provides an adverse environment for opposing offenses.

It will be key for the Vikings to apply pressure to Brees with their 4 down linemen because this will allow them to drop 7 in coverage, just as they did against the Dallas. And even if the Vikings defensive line can’t get to Brees  for sacks – Brees was sacked just 20 times during the regular season, 14 fewer times than Brett Favre – it’s will be vital for them to get their hands in passing lanes. The Vikings did lead the league in sacks during the regular season with 48, but the defensive line also batted down 17 passes.

One way or another, whether by sacking Brees or batting down his passes, the Vikings defensive line must once again be a factor if the Vikings are going to slow down another productive passing attack.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 34 Comments »


34 Responses to “By Sack Or By Bat-Down, Vikings D-Line Will Be Key”

  1. By VikingsDefenseFan on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    Undoubtedly, the Vikings are going to force Brees to pass the ball. I know the Saints are trying to hype up their run game and all that hoodyblippityblah, but they are not fooling anyone. With that being said, the Vikings will have a better opportunity to bolster our secondary.because of the simple fact despite all the ante with the Saints, by ESPN against us… Again….That Saints offense will be 1 dimensional. It’s more likely for the Vikings defense to get a pick, than it will be for the Saints defense on Favre. Pure and flipping simple.

  2. By Viking-ology on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    If our O and D lines put in another solid preformance,
    we will win comfortably. Although the Saints have a great team, I believe we are more balanced and are the best team in the league. TO MIAMI!!!!
    SKOL VIKINGS!!!!!

  3. By corwin on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    we must have NO turnovers-be very smart with the ball,,,and make all the little plays we did not on the road games we lost. If we take care of this WE WIN !

    Go 4 !

    SKOL VIKINGS !!!!

  4. By SkolVikings on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    This game will be fought and won in the trenches. Its time we all root for the big uglies.

  5. By vikefan4eva on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    I really think that making brees nervous is the key. Even if he gets yardage if you pressure him he will eventually get antsy and make mistakes. If you take out brees you take the heart of that team.

  6. By jbork88 on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    hopefully this game will be like when the vikes eat the packers at lambeau at not like the carolina game

  7. By rcmatti Albq NM on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    D.Sharper will be at his game,But the vikings will prevail..SKOL GO VIKINGS,

  8. By RyanS on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    as u can see in last playoff game, defense were beatin up on romo, they will do the same against drew brees

  9. By BESTVIKESWEBPAGE on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    The Vikes are gonna get it done and heres why – the Favre story is a mde for TV movie! Just like with Jerome Bettis a few years ago. Saints luck is up. I got my new Sidney Rice jersey from Rustys Toy Chest yesterday and gonna be sporting it all the way to the SUPER BOWL baby! Adrian Peterson is overdue…. dont you think?

  10. By KyWeaver on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    nah, ap has more touchdowns than any quaterback in the league, he’s doinf fine

  11. By KyWeaver on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    i meant runningback*

  12. By KyWeaver on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    running back*

  13. By Jbork88 on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    sure peterson hasn’t run for 100 yards since they played the lions, but…. 18 TOUCHDOWNS!!!!!!!!!!! rhose are what get you wins, not yards

  14. By paul on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    The team with the least turnovers wins.

    to jbork88- How many tds. for Adrian in the games that were lost, don’t forget about those 7-fumbles.

  15. By purple_country2010 on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    THE Saints DYING PROCESS: denial – they think they will not loose; bargaining – they are counting on the dome advantage; but just like the Cowgals, they will eventually accept, yep with excuses of course! Saints, be happy with what you have done thus far, ama let you finish but you are going down. Sorry another Kat in town!

  16. By Bigfan1 on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    The “D” is crucial hopefully the team will click on all cylinders with Brett and crew, if they do everyone knows what the outcome will be. The Vikes are without a doubt the most talented team in the NFL hopefully they’ll perform well, execute, and come out on top.

  17. By jbork88 on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    ehhhh, good point

  18. By CA Norwegian on Jan 24, 2010 | Reply

    The wired for sound on the Defenses is the best! Brooking is quite the character. I think our Williams guys are tops. When they play to win, we do. Winfield was looking as though he felt pretty good against Cinci, and I think he will tilt the balance again.

  19. By Vietnam Dave (Norgeman) on Jan 24, 2010 | Reply

    This Vikings team is the best I have seen them play since the 1970’s… Maybe even better. What they need is to allow God to help them for he is the great equalizer for all. Plese have Him (God) help this great instrument or team to bind all Minnesotians together for the better gain of being closer to God…

    Saigon, Vietnam

  20. By Debbie on Jan 24, 2010 | Reply

    Hey – Throwback comment from the old St Paul Days

    MINNESOTA Fighting SAINTS

  21. By Bruce on Jan 24, 2010 | Reply

    Vietnam Dave,

    I believe

  22. By GW on Jan 24, 2010 | Reply

    It’s finally here. This is the day we have been waiting for since 1998 when the Viking played the Atlanta Falcons and blew a sizable half time lead. For some of us it goes back alot further. For others, myself included, it goes back to the 1977 Super Bowl and the 3 other Viking Super Bowl appearances in the same decade. It would have been alot easier to have given up on this team, but not everyone is geared that way. We have been thru alot as loyal Vikings fans. But today brings new hope for those of us that choose not to jump an another teams band wagon. Today is the day that inspires our fan bases core. This team is the best Viking team that has ever played in a Vikings uniform. Brett Favre was not brought to team by accident. He was brought here as part of our destiny. Bret is here for one and one thing only and that is to not only take this team to the Super Bowl, but to win it. That’s right we are on the verge of doing something that no other Vikings team has done. The Vikings have without a doubt been the best team in NFL history to have never won a Super Bowl. Today is our day. Skol…

  23. By Vietnam Dave (Norgeman) on Jan 24, 2010 | Reply

    Hi GW and Bruce and everybody else,
    I am half way around the world in Vietnam, but we all have to believe in our team today and forever even if they do not do as good as we hope they will. I will also watch our team do the best also.

    Dave…

  24. By Terry Waugh on Jan 24, 2010 | Reply

    No more nasayers! Vikes will win! Believe!

  25. By PattiGee on Jan 24, 2010 | Reply

    I have been a fan since 1974, if they play today like they did last Sunday, they can win.

    I have already told my supervisor, they win today I am taking the Monday off after the SuperBowl.

  26. By OLD SCHOOL on Jan 24, 2010 | Reply

    This is everything! The #’s are simple, 2 great off. , but, where the rubber meets the road, the difference, the Defence! The 2 teams are really different in rank….the Saints just don’t match up! Plain and Simple! We are just better! Just better! WE WILL WIN THIS GAME! 31- 24! WRITE THIS DOWN! 31-24! SKOL VIKINGS!

  27. By tony on Jan 24, 2010 | Reply

    ya im a nervous viking fan, got my favre jersy on, been waiting for this day for a long time now. i pray the o line protects favre. lets get er done. go vikings!!!!

  28. By Seana_Vikies_Yikes28 on Jan 24, 2010 | Reply

    BELIEVE AND ACHIEVE
    GO VIKINGS GO
    THIS IS OUR TIME TO SHINE!

  29. By Todd on Jan 25, 2010 | Reply

    Didn’t see much shine coming from your side,matter of FACT you guys were pretty DULL.WHO DAT WHIPPED YOUR DEFENSES ASS.And FAVRE LOOKED pretty humorous on his ASS toooo..

  30. By Duncan BC Vikes Fan on Jan 25, 2010 | Reply

    Vikes ran up and down your field. The only thing that stopped the Vikes was themselves, the refs and the NFL. Even with everything against them you won by three in OT. NFL was looking for a feel good Katrina story. They got it with the help of that last OT booth review. The ball still hasn’t been caught. FIX!!

    Get all your cheering done with now TODD because Payton will shred your D.

    No Super Bowl for the DIRTY Aints.

  31. By Wesley Savoy on Jan 26, 2010 | Reply

    This is an open letter to Brett Favre to help make him realize that retirement is not a good option!

    First, Brett Favre your the epitome of a person that strives to learn, moves forward and battles to conquer his demons as you grow through life’s learned lessons both on and off the field.

    Brett , you may not realize it, but, you have un-intentionally given yourself a second life as a starting quarter back in the NFL that could have you playing another 2-4 years of not good, but
    GREAT football!!!

    First you have a great coach and management team with the Vikings organization that not only appreciates your ability, (unlike what you were getting from the Packers organization in your final few years), but they understand how you think and what matters to you. You also has a GREAT young bunch of super talented guys around you, Your Team Mates, which are as hunger for the Super Bowl Championship Ring as
    you are, if not before the lose definitely now more after the lose.

    Brett, you said it yourself in an interview not to long ago that to win, “it’s the chemistry of the right players at the right time of the moment” which is very finite. Well, this is the moment, but unbeknownst to you Brett, this
    first year with the Vikings is just the start of what’s to come. Sometimes when things are happening in ones life that’s going great, (“better then one could hope for”) the euphoria one experiences can give them
    the sense of “this is it”, which can and does happen to most people who experience this and then they stop, and give up on the fact that maybe it’s only the beginning of something more, much more!

    I know it’s easy to sit here and write what I think, it’s not what I think, it’s what I know!

    Listening to you Brett over the season on how your were feeling and how you felt from week to week not only mentally but physically, Brett you did not feel your age! Brett as you stated “I felt the best in years”.
    Brett you felt reenergized, and it showed. You played like a 30 year old veteran in his prime, not some 40+ year old trying to recapture his by gone glory years. Brett you know more then anybody that you have
    more to give, you learnt more about the game and more about yourself this last season.

    There is no doubt that during the NFC Championship game you felt your age (maybe a little older then your age), but anyone who took the pounding that you did Brett, would too. Just ask Kurt Warner and Tony Romo how old they felt in there loses?

    But there is something more to why your not finished with the game that has given you so much, and what you Brett, have given so much to the game! And that’s something that only you know!

    There is no doubt that you may want to retire Brett. I know what it’s like to try and make a decision and not be 110% sure whether the decision is right until you’ve made it. Only once
    you’ve committed to a decision will you know if it is the right decision. Because what ever the decision it is that you make when you make it, only if it STICKS without any, and I mean ANY regret, only then
    will you know that you made the right decision.

    Before you make that decision, DON”T short change yourself. This is a once in a life time opportunity that almost nobody gets in their life time, ever, and you have it right in your hands for the second time.

    It’s better to try, and fail then to say NO! There is never regret in ones trying and failing, because you pushed on. But saying NO to not just any opportunity, but this opportunity that is here and now, and yours to make your own, that is a regret that time could never heal.

    If your decision is retirement, I’m sure that I’m not the only one hoping for it not to stick! I’m sure everyone in Minnesota (including myself) will be hoping right up until the kick-off of the first regular season game
    that it doesn’t stick.

    Hope to see you on the playing field.

    From you biggest fan in Canada,
    Wes

  32. By rodney on Jan 26, 2010 | Reply

    Coaches talk ..Why the vikes lost ….nothing was said about all the bad calls..
    thanks Jeff Fisher,Jim Mora,Steve Mariucci..talk about tha real factS you dummies. BAD CALLS…SORRY REFS

  33. By rodney on Jan 26, 2010 | Reply

    WHAT…IS …THE..NEWS..BLIND….

  34. By Susan on Jan 26, 2010 | Reply

    I am looking for the shirts that the defensive line had on last Sunday pre game. They all were wearing it. Can any one help me out? They’re really coool!

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