Vikings Will Need Combo Of Coverage And Rush To Slow Lions Air Attack

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 7, 2011 – 1:46 pm

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.

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33 Responses to “Vikings Will Need Combo Of Coverage And Rush To Slow Lions Air Attack”

  1. By Deertracks on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    The Vikings’ season is done, like an overcooked pot of stew..

    Frazier, for once, try thinking! Play your 2nd string players…Show us Viking fans who pay your salary, just what and WHY those players are on the payroll!!

  2. By Deertracks on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    Allow J. Allen to lead the bunch!

    You may just find out that you have some real talent you (Or Your replacement) can use next year…

  3. By Roninmn.. on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    Secondary and offensive line has been a problem for quite some time. That is why fans have been very vocal about it. You can put lip stick on a pig but it’s still a pig. Best we can hope for now is great draft picks.

  4. By VA Vike Fan on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t think our secondary is held accountable enough for their poor play and a lot of the blame ends up being put on the defensive line. Now the excuse is that everybody is hurt when the fact of the matter is, they sucked when the starters were out there too. WAKE UP!

  5. By LBJ2 on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    Roninmn, I totally agree with you. The secondary has been horrible for a very long time. I don’t know why suddenly this comes as news to coach Frazier. The secondary was lacking even when Frazier was the defensive coordinator. Yes and lately the offensive line has also been a nightmare. Ponder is playing very well. He is a rookie and will make mistakes. He clearly proved last Sunday when given the time he can make outstanding plays. Also Frazier and company should consistently keep their best players on the field. Case in point is last Sunday when Rudolph and Harvin were on the sideline when the team was attempting to score a TD as time was running out in the first half of the game. I can’t understand the thinking behind this and I have not heard Frazier challenged on this issue by the press pool. It would be nice to hear an explanation from the coach justifying this action. How in the world can you win when the coaches continue to shoot themselves in the foot?

  6. By Deertracks on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    LBJ2…You expected Frazier to think at a time like that? He would rather stand on the sideline with a blank look on his face, staring at the ground expecting a miracle to happen…

    His two best play-makers were standing right there with him..Rudolph and Harvin…

  7. By James on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    I think their team that blocks the field goals and the defence need some more training.

  8. By Viking-ology on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    LBJ2 I could’ny agree with you more. Frazier has his best two offensive weapons on the sidelines as they are trying to score a touchdown, I just don’t understand that logic.

  9. By Viking-ology on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply


  10. By robb on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    Lions have lost 5 of their last 7 games and even as poorly as the Vikings defense is playing I think they have a good shot to win with Ponder.Without Suh I think they’ll struggle.

  11. By TheRealdon on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    Why does Frazier make it seem like getting Asher Allen back is going to make this weak a’ss secondary play better..SORRY FRAZIER BUT ASHER ALLEN SUCKS..

    That being said if secondary is not the 1st thing on your mind this off season Frazier..I will no longer have faith in you..

  12. By Viking-ology on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    When is second, first-when it’s secondary. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yes I agree secondary has to be a big part of the draft- but the O-line needs addressing too-Ponder needs to stay upright.

  13. By Mt_Viking on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    1st pick= The Honey-Badger form LSU…Period! He’s a DB that’s in the top 5 for the Heisman! Then draft a O-Line

  14. By CanadianVF on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    Well thanks for confirming with numbers the obvious, our secondary is terrible and as we all know has been one of the worst for years now. As we have been saying on this blog over and over and over again we lack talent which is certainly true. If you want to spin it as above that we have a lot of injuries well okay but how about the Houston Texans. They have lost Matt Schaub, Mario Williams, Arian Foster and Andre Johnson. However they are 9 – 3 . As I have said repeatedly that talent is an issue, but it is also the system they play and that gets me to the coaching. I have said from the beginning of the season that this coaching staff has been getting exposed and that I do not have faith in this group. I have said repeatedly that we need to bring in a proven coach with a track record. I have mentioned several times that I believe Steve Fisher would be an excellent choice. I have also said that Cowher would be a great G M . While I know this is wishfull thinking, probably cannot be done, paying Frazier, Childress and the new coach. I read today that there are at least six teams that are interested in Fisher as their next coach. The New York Giants also are interested in a Fisher/Cowher combo. It all starts at the top with good organizations and I know we will not act on these people and they will be snapped up by other teams quickly. But maybe a miracle will happen and Frazier if we give him a chance will get the ship turned around, but I doubt it. The only miracles that seem to be happening are in Denver these days and we passed on him to.

  15. By Viking-ology on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    CanadienVF I hear ya! And I agree, but, unfortunately, we will have Frazier and crew for at least another year. I hope he proves me wrong but…

  16. By Viking-ology on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    Sorry (Canadian)

  17. By purplehaze1 on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    agree 100% CanadianVF, one other thing i would like to see happen (especially now that CP has an injury); is that Les should give Webb a shot. i know a lot of fans are not sold on him as a QB, but, last year many were more than happy he was given a chance. furthermore, El Klunko kept him on the roster as a QB…well let’s just chaulk it up to time served and see what he can do. besides, i am apprehensive that if CP is not 100% and he plays…Les is risking the team’s future QB. very good post…GO VIKES!!!

  18. By Kody Wiig on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    We need a play making safety the last time our secondary was good was with sharper that tampa two calls for a run stop safety and a ball hog wtf have we been doin with these dead heads I kinda like raymond but he is really raw and reckless right now the rest of em can go corners too cook would really help but that legal stuff has no place burton has the size but don’t know enough his skill yet

  19. By James on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    I have to say i dont think Asher Allen was a good choice and he cost us our game v.s Green bay. He let Nelson make a touch down. If he was covering him {which he was but let him go} it would have been 38-38 and we would have went into over time and won by making a field goal. I met he cost us the first green bay game of the seson. We need better pass blockers.

  20. By James on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    Also Ponder has been chased over 41 times! We need to get better ppl to block the QB. Thats why Ponders aways on the run.

  21. By Woodboat on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    I am getting quite sick of hearing the sportscasters and our own Mike W point at our injuries list as the culprit behind our secondary being among the most pathetic in the league. IF ALL the guys that are injured weren’t, our defensive backfield would still be in the bottom 3rd of the league. Chris “wife-smacker” Cook was by far our best DB, and I wouldn’t have him back on the field. Winfield tackles well, covers poorly. Griffen never was a good CB, and Allen never will be. Our safties? Point at one that will ever be given a sniff at the pro-bowl.

    Our pass defense has been garbage for years… I’ve seen nothing from Frazier in his entire tenure as a Vikings coach to suggest that it will ever be any good.

  22. By Woodboat on Dec 7, 2011 | Reply

    Like Gruden said weeks ago during the Monday Nighter… “Everyone in the league knows that the Vikings can’t cover anyone.” Pretty well sums it up.

  23. By Twoodsnvikes on Dec 8, 2011 | Reply

    Agreed Woodboat they are very terrible, would love to get Mark Barron for our SS back there with Mistral Raymond, but I think we will have our minds set on other players in the second round

  24. By xvike on Dec 8, 2011 | Reply

    @CanadianVF Are you seriously comparing the texans to the vikings? Do you know what teams are in their division???? Yeah i wish the vikings could play against the colts, jags, and the titans 2 times each this year. The only notable teams that the texans have played against are the ravens and steelers. Everyone else is either mediocre or on the same boat as the vikings. I know. I have foster on my fantasy team and he’s been tearin it up. The texans will probably make the playoffs but they are going to lose in the first round.

  25. By vike0din on Dec 8, 2011 | Reply

    the draft/free agency thing may be beat into the ground but hey, that might be the only way the front office will listen (they probably won’t) This is the Osborne plan (that’s me)
    Free agency:
    Courtland Finnegan, CB
    Laron Landry, SS
    no. 1: matt kalil, T, USC
    no. 2: michael brewster, C, ohio state
    no. 3: winston guy jr., S, Kentucky
    no. 4: kendall wright, WR, Baylor
    no. 5: Braden Hanson, G, BYU
    no. 6: D’Anton Lynn, CB, Penn Sate (great pick in my opinion)
    no. 7: Jelani Jenkins, OLB, Florida (very complimentary to J. Allen)

  26. By CA_Viking_fan on Dec 8, 2011 | Reply

    I wish I found this blog site and the Daily Norseman site sooner. My whole life, I’ve been an isolated closet fan. It’s so nice seeing fellow fans vocally expressing the same exact thoughts I have always had on this team about their secondary. Come to think of it, I don’t think they have ever had a solid lock down secondary. I wish the coaches would read these forums. It’s so obvious the problems and it seems that they are just now being recognized. And what’s the deal with Asher Allen? The dude is lost out there. Just watch the film. It’s blatant. Ok, you vocal fans, please continue raising h on this topic of our secondary.

  27. By Carl on Dec 8, 2011 | Reply

    If you want to get some sacks heres the defensive line you should have. 1st and 2nd down= J. Allen, Kwill, L. Guion, E. Griff. 3rd down= J. Allen, C. Ball, E. Griff, B. Rob. Thats how you get presure on the QB. Or maybe try a little 3-4 mix heres the line up J. Allen C. Ballard E. Griff LB’s C.Green E.J. Hend E. Hend A. Aaibi. A mix on the back end any way you will still be rushing 4 but one will be a LB. The point is mix it up rush the first time from one of the outside LB’s then the next time from the inside but when you rush one of the inside LB’s have him take a step or two back like he’s going to be in coverage and bring him on a delayed rush once a lane opens up. We have to mix it up so were not so predictible. Also when we had 3 safties available we should have had this coverage and may run a 3-3-6 coverage that might confuse the offence were playing since we were short on CB’s.
    This defensive brain trust needs to get creative.
    Also take one of our least experienced CB and blitz him and swing one of our LB’s into his coverage.

  28. By Carl on Dec 8, 2011 | Reply

    Vikeodin for one thing we need impact players from both F/A and also the draft. So first we have to let go of some big salaries like C. Griff, S. Hutch, A. Herr, A. Winf. Then trade Kwill for at the very least a 2nd rounder. Then sign Carl Nicks OG N.O, Laron Laundry SS Wash, Okoye from CHic, Vincent Jackson from S.D. Draft I’m listening to the kfan as i am doing this and they just said that Matt Kalil OT USC its probable he will be returning back to school so heres my picks

    Rd1 J. Martin Stanford OT
    Rd2 S. Gilmore S. Carolina CB
    Poss trade K.will Rd2 a Kelchi Osemele Iowa State OG
    Rd3 Marvin Mcnutt Iowa WR
    Poss comp pick Rd3 Brandon Banks Mississippi State CB
    Rd4 George IIoka Boise State FS
    Rd’s 5,6,7 use for depth at need positions

    Also hope Chris cook is able to come back. Depending on how we do in F/A we might have to draft better.
    Poss comp pick 3rd round Jonathan Banks

  29. By Derrick.G on Dec 8, 2011 | Reply

    Secondary shouldn’t even play. At least they’ll have a reason to have wide open receivers down field…

  30. By PBizzle on Dec 8, 2011 | Reply

    DB’s first three picks if they’re there draft since not only is it their weakest spot but also because they play against three very good passing teams six times a year. The vikes have been able to put up ok numbers against other teams but lose because they have a porous secondary. If the vikes have skilled DB’s and still cant get it done than they know its the system that needs to change. Save O-Line for next years top 3 picks and they are solid two years from now.

  31. By vikingfan4life on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    Hey, how about that kid from Iowa State that shut down Blackmon of Okl St which led to their only loss of the year. I agree ! DB’s the first 3 rnds and the next on OL. C’mon front office ! Watch the games and you will see what the rest of us do.

  32. By Rocksalt on Dec 11, 2011 | Reply

    LOL Mike W………

  33. By Rocksalt on Dec 11, 2011 | Reply

    This team couldn’t cover old ladies with walkers

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