Vikings Defense: Worth Repeating

Posted by cjsiewert on December 30, 2010 – 7:05 am

It is said that defense wins championships; the Vikings may not be playing for a title this season but their defense is setting a standard of play that other teams will want to replicate throughout the playoffs.

The notion of mimicking the Vikings defense will be especially true for the team that faces the Eagles in this year’s playoffs. The Vikings held Philadelphia to 14 points and sacked MVP candidate QB Michael Vick a total of 6 times on Tuesday night at Lincoln Financial Field. The Vikings defense also held Vick to a season-low passer rating (74.1) while forcing 3 turnovers (2 fumbles and an INT).

The defensive unit – led by CB Antoine Winfield and LB Chad Greenway with 9 stops a piece – performed at a championship-caliber level against the NFC East-champions in all phases. The defensive line combined for 11 tackles and a forced fumble (FF), the LBs recorded 17 tackles and the secondary was challenged all night long and responded with 25 stops, 3 sacks, a FF and an INT.

The stellar performance by the Vikings defense didn’t go unnoticed, specifically for the team’s veteran leader as Winfield was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week. His dominating performance included 7 different statistical categories – 9 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 tackle for loss, 1 QB hit, a FF and fumble recovery that was returned 45 yards for a TD at the end of the 1st half. Winfield’s sack-fumble return knotted the game at 7 and provided a huge momentum swing in the Vikings favor heading into the locker room.

As far as the Vikings men in the box (DTs, DEs and LBs) are concerned, we’ve come accustom to dominating performances. But what’s been missing for most of the season is a complementary defensive backfield. And that all changed on Tuesday night as a predominately-young secondary, which has been depleted by injuries, held Vick and Co. in check.

We’ve already mentioned the outstanding performance by Winfield, but just as we referenced yesterday on the leadership role taken by team veterans, the mental and physical approach to the game taken by such leaders rubbed off on the club’s younger players, especially in the secondary.

Setting aside Winfield’s 12-year experience in the league, the rest of the Vikings starters in the secondary on Tuesday night combine for a total of 7 years of experience (S Husain Abdullah – 3, CB Asher Allen – 2 and S Jamarca Sanford – 2). Sanford, who made his first start of the season, served as a reliable replacement for Madieu Williams who was out with a concussion.

“Jamarca played well,” Vikings Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Wednesday. “To come in, in the situation that he did with the injuries that we’ve had and the fact that he was coming off an injury also. To play as well as he did, he made some good plays for us, some nice tackles… Jamarca made a lot of plays for us, was around the football, has tremendous speed and athleticism and he made a lot of plays. So we’re pleased with the way he performed.”

After its performance against the Eagles, the Vikings defense is poised to finish the 2010 season in true form as a tenacious unit, but will need to hold firm against a Detroit Lions offense that features playmakers such as WR Calvin Johnson and rookie RB Jahvid Best.

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Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “Vikings Defense: Worth Repeating”

  1. By SmileyStar on Dec 30, 2010 | Reply

    Would be awesome to see a repeat performance of tuesday night on sunday!! More importantly though we need to figure out what the recipe was for getting the level of performance from our D on Tuesday and remember it for the 2011 season.

  2. By SmileyStar on Dec 30, 2010 | Reply

    Only 3 teams have beaten the Lions by more than 8 points. New England, Dallas, and Minnesota!! The Lions QB Shaun Hill has a broken finger, Sack him!

  3. By Jordan on Dec 30, 2010 | Reply

    The lions are a good team. They are deffinitly becoming a playoff contender. We need to finish off on a high note and figure out next season. It will be an easier schedule then this year so we can hopefully grant Adrian Peterson another playoff game. If we can get into the Divisonal round I will be happy and satisfied. Go vikings!

  4. By fmfan on Dec 30, 2010 | Reply

    Please no more VANILLA defense!!! It is a pa$$ first leauge so keep blitzing and hitting thier qb!!!

  5. By Justin on Dec 30, 2010 | Reply

    If the Vikings can bother the heck out of Michael Vick, they surely can do the same to Shaun freaking Hill!

  6. By Janice Poinsett on Dec 30, 2010 | Reply

    I’ve watched the vikings defense for many years. Tuesday’s game was one of the memorable games defensively. That’s the type of play they are best at and excute so well……thanks guys….you are terrific!!! great players, great to see them show….they way they are supposed to!!!

  7. By Austin Pulczinski on Dec 30, 2010 | Reply

    It is awesome to see what a good defense such as the Vikings have play when there QB doesn’t turn the ball over 3 times a game. When the offense can maintain drives and avoid turning the ball over we really have a good defense.

  8. By mrhappy on Dec 30, 2010 | Reply

    we need a quaterback,TJ is not the answer,maybe Webb? injuries killed us this yr we lost some close games,some we didn’t show up for! If Frasier stays lets hope they stay aggresive

  9. By desmond on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    The Joe Wbb era has begun……A younger ,faster,stronger Michael Vick without the character issues that lead to ”Dog Gate”…To VIiking fans maybe the second coming of Randal Cunningham or is it ”Scrambling Fran”? Go ahead Bret its safe to retire .The qb position is in good hands see you in Canton…Chilly bashers [me included] take note…….He drafted AP, Sydney Rice,Percy Harvin and now Joe Webb. Too bad he did not know how to coach the great talent he assembled we would be SB contenders for the next 10yrs …..Leslie will take us to the ”Promised Land”……Go VIKES

  10. By Thomas Langlie on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    Lets us not forget, the offensive line did its job Tuesday night. Webb’s mobility helped but interceptions start at the offensive line. You cannot have your QB being hit or sacked on 2 out of 3 plays. Ask Mike Vick. You don’t go to far, great game.

  11. By huskermnnut on Jan 1, 2011 | Reply

    What a forgettable season! Chiily’s gamble of sending the 3 amigos down to Mississippi cost him a job and our season. Brett is awesome, I will always admire his approach to the game, but his heart was not in it this year. The draft and free agency are going to be key for us this year, as well as the new coach. Give Fraizer a shot, he earned it getting the players to play at the level they did against the Eagles. Ready for the 2011 season, hope it isn’t locked out!

  12. By chaos on Jan 1, 2011 | Reply

    Yes! as a recent convert to the Minnesota Vikings I didnt fall in love with last years dominating team that owned almost all of its opponents. I fell for the team that didnt turn the ball over alot, ran almost every play and played D better than every other team in the NFL {yes even the Ravens}. Tuesday was the team i fell in love with. If we play like that every week then no one will be able to beat us. We are the only team to beat the Eagles by stopping Vick. every other team attempted to contain his RB and recievers. We contained Vick and the rest of the Eagles.

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