With the Vikings home opener dawning upon us, players have their undivided attention on the Miami Dolphins and aspirations of extending their 9-game home winning streak. The appeal to the Dolphins from many standpoints is their versatility in the rushing attack, but that doesn’t have the Vikings defensive line worried one bit.
“You know, the Wildcat was cool like three years ago when they broke it out,” DE Jared Allen jokingly told reporters in the Vikings locker room after Wednesday’s practice. “But no, there’s enough film on it now to where you can study it. Just like anything, if fundamentally you’re sound then it really doesn’t matter who has the ball or how they get it. Eventually, you have to find the ball and make the tackle.”
The ground game is where the Dolphins have been known to establish their offense with the tandem of RBs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. This was the case in Miami’s 15-10 season-opening victory over the Buffalo Bills as the Fins ran a total of 36 rushing plays (compared to 34 passing plays) – Brown and Williams combined for 31 attempts, 127 yards and a TD.
Having a great deal of emphasis on the rushing attack, the Vikings defensive front is well aware that it needs to make plays on the runner and force the Dolphins to revert their approach to the air, which is under the direction of 3rd-year QB Chad Henne. But before the front 4 can worry about the QB they must first put a halt to the rush.
“It’s going to be real important to confuse him (Henne) but I think their main game plan is their great rush attack,” DT Kevin Williams acknowledged. “We’ve got to slow that down first and earn the right to get after their quarterback. He’s a young guy and we want to rattle him of course, but we got to stop that great running game first.”
Miami has given itself a unique offensive identity over recent years with the introduction of the Wildcat and that’s been effective with the personnel available to the Dolphins, but facing a defensive front such as the Vikings, perhaps the Purple will reaffirm their identity as a stout run-stopping unit.
Tags: Jared Allen, Kevin Williams
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