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Vikings Defense Answers The Bell vs. Lions Offense

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 12, 2011 – 8:40 am

A quick look at the final score of Sunday’s loss might make you think otherwise, but the Vikings defense answered the bell against a typically explosive Detroit Lions offense. The Lions scored 34 points in their victory, but the point total alone doesn’t tell the true story.

Ultimately, it was turnovers by the Vikings offense early in the game that allowed Detroit to build an advantage that was just barely enough to preserve victory. The Lions scored two defensive touchdowns in the 1st half, and for the game Detroit collected 24 points directly off of Vikings turnovers.

When the Lions weren’t aided by a Vikings turnover, though, they had trouble against the Vikings defense. Here’s a list of the Lions offensive drives and results of those drives when they didn’t obtain the ball via turnover:

4 plays, 19 yards, 1 first down, punt
4 plays, 34 yards, 2 first downs, touchdown
6 plays, 25 yards, 1 first down, punt
3 plays, 2 yards, 0 first downs, punt
4 plays, 9 yards, 0 first downs, punt
15 plays, 76 yards, 5 first downs, field goal
6 plays, 20 yards, 1 first down, punt

Add it all up, and the Lions averaged just 6 plays, 26.4 yards and 1.4 first downs per drive, very solid numbers for the Vikings defense.

In addition to all of that, the Vikings held QB Matthew Stafford to just 227 passing yards (he averaged 293.9 coming into the game) and they sacked Stafford 5 times. Stafford’s top target, Calvin Johnson, was also held in check with just 3 receptions for 29 yards.

The Vikings also held Detroit’s running game in check, as the Lions gained just 72 yards on 21 carries (3.4 yards per carry). For the game, Detroit had just 13 first downs – compared to 29 for the Vikings – and the offense as a whole generated 280 net yards, which is 104.2 yards below their season average.

None of this will make the loss feel any better, but it was good to see a Vikings defense that is severely hampered by injury play up to and above the level of the Lions offense. Both Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier and Defensive Coordinator Fred Pagac should be pleased with the effort and results of the Vikings defense.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 25 Comments »


25 Responses to “Vikings Defense Answers The Bell vs. Lions Offense”

  1. By GMan on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    Good luck with the Saints this weekend? This could be really embarrassing!

  2. By GMan on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    Offense is pathetic…very much like a high school team with absolutely no continuity. Props to the defense though.

  3. By vikingsfan1955 on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    yes we will look bad if they play like this next week. Do we have qb controversy, I’m still with ponder for now but to those of u that doubt webb watch how well he play inspite of the fumble. Ponder has to settle down and he was rattled yestyerday

  4. By DesetViking on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    I two QB system would be hard to run in the NFL, but not impossible. Look at the success LSU is having with. And if you’re going to say “college systems will never work in the NFL…” just look at Denver. We’ll need a better OC to be able to implement this offense if we really wanted to do it, we should of looked into Josh McDaniels, but maybe Charlie Weis wants to come back to the NFL?

  5. By Regfan on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    Just think when the Vikings figure out how to win the season will be over

  6. By DRS on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    Mike Wobschall that all may be true but they still allowed the Vikings to be out scored? Why no INTs? Why no fumbles and recoveries by the Vikings? Is it not true we need better talent on this team, O-Line and Defense? Let’s get a GM, maybe Fran will do. This team has become a joke and something must be done about it.

  7. By purplegoldman on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    Hey all of you Vikings fans. Start posting and calling for Frazier to hire Tod Haley as the Offensive Corridinator as Haley was just released as the Chiefs head coach. Move Bill Mussgrave back to the QB coach position as this is all he has been as a coach in the NFL and it shows. or just let him go. This would be a great and positive move by Frazier as a new and inexperienced head coach. Haley would bring alot of Proven experience and needed stabillity to the system and players and would imediately show that Frazier is learning how to become a great head coach. Go get him Frazier, Lets kick sum butt next year and win the division and go to the playoffs. Positive and great things happen when you make the right choices.

  8. By Garrett on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    Guys, Mike is not saying that our defense is awesome but rather that they did the best they could with what we have. These scrubs put up pretty impressive numbers against a good offense. Oh yeah, HIRE A GENERAL MANAGER. I vote for Fran Tarkenton.

  9. By Garrett on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    I AGREE COMPLETELY!!! MUSGRAVE TO QB COACH AND TOD HALEY AS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR!!!

  10. By vikingsfan1955 on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    with the seasone where it is today I don’t care if we win another game and hope we don’t now I’m hoping for the best spot in the draft that we can get so we can draft the best corner available

  11. By purplegoldman on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    Joe Webb has had Two years of development with the Vikings. So if Webb realy impressis you, then how much better will Ponder be than Webb by Mid season Next year. Remember Ponder hasnt even had 1 regular preseason of training. Joe Webb has had 2 complete preseason camps and training as well as 2 complete preseason game schedule and starts. Webb was lite years ahead of Ponder in NFL training and conditioning. By all rights Webb should be alot more accurate and a higher completion ratio by now. What does Webb do best? RUN. Webb’s future in the NFL is at WR. The worst thing the Viking could do is to fall in to the 2 QB trap. It always ends bad for the team and 2 QB’s

  12. By AmishViking on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    Let’s start thinking……
    Ponder has been made the QB of the future not Webb. He is a rookie who is learning. It will not happen over night. Manning, Elway, etc. had really bad games just like Ponder and it took them 2-4 years to develop. Frazier should of not let him start because he is a rookie and the injury just made things that much more difficult. Webb comes in and runs like crazy(Fun to watch)…Not a pocket passer. Never throws a timing pattern just aims for who is open. He could be a really good qb but he would need to learn too and he would take longer than Ponder. We have given our President 4 years to fix the economy and Ponder 7 games????

  13. By vikingsfan1955 on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    WOW all the negitivity when it comes to webb when has he had the chance that ponder has and yes he has been there 2 yr’s but when has he had 6 starts to get into a rythm. I think a lot of responses are color blind and just as ponder has had a chance to have so many straight starts maybe webb should also who knows how well he can develope. I have seen sparks in ponder but not anynore than I have seen in web in his few starts and actually if u do go back to when he did start his stats weren’t bad for the end of that yr

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

    Purplegoldman-good points. I like the Haley/Musgrave idea too. I’d also like to add the we absolutely need a new defensive coordinator-Fraziers defensive mind and his sidekick ain’t cutting it.

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

    BTW-yes the defense tightened up in the second half, but Detroit also got complacent with the lead. Also they did give up a big touchdown play on 3rd & 15 in the first quarter. They are still a joke.

  16. By purplegoldman on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    Wow. Pretty nasty inuendo. You realy cant see that Webb would have a pro bowl Career as a wide reciever. Thats the where he can use all of his talent to its fullest. Webb will not be a Pro Bowl QB. Ponder does not have the the talent to be a pro bowl wide reciever. I want what is best for both Webb and Ponder. No one is hating on anyone. You realy do need to get your mind out of the political GUTTER it always leads to anger then Hate. So think for your self and stop being led like a mindless sheep of the Liberals. They care so much for people that all they want is total control of there lives. Pretty much phycological slavery.

  17. By purplegoldman on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    I agree Viking-ology .

  18. By Regfan on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    With a bad OL ,all Quarterbacks look horrible,remember T.J. and how bad he looked?..now he’s doing fine in Seattle.

  19. By Buffy on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    Bring back Brett Favre!

  20. By Bigfan1 on Dec 13, 2011 | Reply

    If I were the coach I would say bottom line the defense allowed “how many points”, however with that many turnovers I guess it could’ve been a lot worse. You got to hand it to the Lions defense who scored big on turnovers.. The Vikings this year remind me of the Lions the last few years, don’t take them lightly because they could bite you.

  21. By azvikingdb on Dec 13, 2011 | Reply

    fran tarkenton for gm

  22. By peter on Dec 13, 2011 | Reply

    The Vikings defense did do well. I am looking forward to a fantastic # 1 Offensive Left Tackle and Defensive Back.

  23. By haedter on Dec 13, 2011 | Reply

    I didnt watch the game. Soooooooo who was the db responsible for shutting down Megatron????

  24. By Vikingfan on Dec 13, 2011 | Reply

    too bad there is 4 quarters and the defense only played 2

  25. By Frederick Jones on Dec 13, 2011 | Reply

    HIRE A GENERAL MANAGER!
    HIRE A GENERAL MANAGER!!
    HIRE A GENERAL MANAGER!!!

    and let his name be Brian Billick!!!

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