With so many different variables leading to ebbs and flows in the Vikings aerial attack along with other personnel finding a rhythm early in the regular season, the Purple are welcoming the bye week to rest and gain extra preparation for a Week 5 Monday night matchup against the New York Jets at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
Yes, the Vikings have shown irregularities throughout the first 3 weeks. But one factor that’s been a consistent force is the play of the defense. Through 3 weeks the Vikings defense ranks in the top 5 in points (3rd-12.5 PPG) and yards allowed (5th-276.3 YPG) and also boasts an 8th-ranked passing (189.0 YPG) and rushing (87.3 YPG) defense.
The Purple have prided themselves on a dominant run defense ever since Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress’ arrival in 2006. The Lions were the latest team to face this staunch unit, as they were held to a season-low 63 yards rushing in last Sunday’s contest – nearly 100 yards less than Vikings RB Adrian Peterson’s total for the game (160).
As the run defense continues its stout performance, so has the pass rush.
Obtaining such a balanced defense is one of many reasons the Vikings have yet to allow more than 14 points a game this season. Even with CBs Chris Cook and Cedric Griffin out for the first 2 weeks, the Vikings pass defense allowed only 237 yards against the pass-heavy Saints team in Week 1 and a dismal 114 yards in Week 2 against the Dolphins.
During the Vikings 24-10 victory over the Lions on Sunday at Mall of America Field, the Vikings secondary welcomed back both Cook and Griffin in route to allowing 237 passing yards. After Lions star rookie RB Jahvid Best left the game with a toe injury, Detroit turned one-dimensional with its aerial attack and the Vikings quickly adjusted. Lions QB Shaun Hill was held to a 69.6 passer rating and was intercepted by LB Ben Leber and CB Antoine Winfield late in the game, putting a halt to any sort of comeback.
As the Vikings defense continues to show its consistency in both the run and pass rush, it’s well known that everyone needs to stay confident in their specific role with 4 straight games against talented offenses – at New York, home against the Dallas Cowboys and then 2 road games against the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots.
“Going into the bye week you need to get more confidence going,” Vikings LB Chad Greenway told reporters after Sunday’s victory over the Lions. “Whatever injuries we do have, the bye week will take care of them and now we know the stretch we have coming out of the bye so we need to get at least mentally healthy.”
Tags: Cedric Griffin, Chad Greenway, Chris Cook
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