The Vikings secondary came under significant fire in the aftermath of last Sunday’s loss to the Broncos, a game in which Tim Tebow passed for 202 yards and 2 TDs along the way to registering a 149.3 passer rating. But last weekend was not the genesis of criticism aimed at the Vikings pass defense.
Opponents have completed 68.2% of their passes against the Vikings and have a 24-6 TD-INT ratio. Add it all up and opposing passers have a rating of 106.5 against the Vikings, the 2nd best rating in the NFL.
“We talked in depth about it the last couple days, and what we can do to try and help our guys on the back end, and we’ll try some things,” Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said. “You can only do what you can do. But we’re going to try to do some things to offset what’s happening with some of the quarterbacks that we’re facing.”
In the Vikings defense, the secondary is beyond beat up. Pro Bowler Antoine Winfield is on IR, and so are starting safeties Husain Abdullah and Tyrell Johnson. CB Asher Allen was missing last week and CB Chris Cook is not expected back any time soon. When you’re down that many guys, it’s unreasonable to expect a team to recover quickly, especially with the number of young and inexperienced players who are forced to step into the action.
And so, with the Vikings preparing to face the pass-happy Detroit Lions this weekend, the Vikings secondary will continue to be scrutinized over the next few days. Certainly the group of Vikings DBs who will suit up on Sunday are doing everything they can to correct their mistakes from a week ago, but Frazier also pointed out that the onus of stopping Detroit’s passing attack does not land squarely on the shoulders of the secondary.
“This is a good pass offense we’re facing, they’ve done a very good job this season, and it’ll be a tremendous challenge for our secondary,” Frazier explained. “But it’s going to require more than our secondary to slow their pass offense down. We’re going to need our front to play big for us, along with our linebackers, to help our secondary. And if we can get that, then I think we can change some of those numbers.”
Frazier is correct. Defending the pass is about combining good coverage with a good pass rush, and the Vikings prospects for pressuring Stafford are pretty good. Detroit had allowed zero sacks heading into their first meeting with the Vikings, but Jared Allen (3.0) and Brian Robison (2.0) changed that.
To slow down the Lions passing attack this weekend, the Vikings will need both improved play from the secondary and a pass-rushing presence from Allen and Co.
Tags: Brian Robison, Jared Allen, Leslie Frazier
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