The Vikings defense is off to a great start in 2012. Vast improvements have been made in pass defense. Opposing quarterbacks are completing 61.8% of their passes (down 6.4% from last year)for an average of 6.08 yards per attempt (down 2.03 yards) and their rating is just 84.6 (down 23.0 points).
On top of that, the Vikings stout run defense has returned. The Vikings are #2 in yards per carry allowed (3.2) and #6 in yards per game allowed (78.6), and the Vikings have a League-best long run allowed of just 15 yards. In the last three games, the Vikings have allowed fewer than 300 yards of total offense and just 11.0 points per game.
The big-time improvement by the Vikings defense has been appreciated locally by fans, and now it’s gaining national attention as well. Or at least the attention of one well-respected ESPN NFL analyst.
In his appearance on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning, which was broadcasting live from Notre Dame’s campus on Friday morning, Ron Jaworski praised the Vikings defense by explaining that several veterans were playing well and are being complimented by one rookie who has been impressive through his first five games.
“Defensively, when I watched them this week, they just jumped out at me,” Jaworski said. “Obviously they have Jared Allen, Kevin Williams playing great inside. I mean Chad Greenway is flying around making plays all over the field. Antoine Winfield is a wily, old veteran that is healthy this year.
“But that guy that flashed to me, and I know you’re at Notre Dame this morning, but Harrison Smith has been making plays all over the field. A tremendous leader, plays with great discipline.”
Jaworski didn’t stop after praising individuals from the Vikings defense. He also praised the group’s synergy, which is an indirect compliment to those responsible for the construction of the Vikings defense – GM Rick Spielman, Head Coach Leslie Frazier and Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams.
“And when I look at defense, I always use this word: harmony. When you have eleven guys working together, making great music, you have harmony. And that’s what I see out of this Minnesota Vikings defense right now.”
Hopefully the Vikings defense makes sweet music in Washington D.C., this weekend, too.
Tags: Alan Williams, Antoine Winfield, Chad Greenway, Harrison Smith, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Leslie Frazier, Rick Spielman
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