Cleverly-Crafted Defensive Game Plan Key In Vikings Win

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 17, 2012 – 7:46 am

In football there’s a fine line between staying true to your identity and taking calculated risks. On Sunday in St. Louis, the Vikings struck that balance beautifully.

Since Leslie Frazier was hired as defensive coordinator of the Vikings in 2007, the Vikings defense has been predicated on a 4-man rush from the defensive line and 7 defenders dropping in coverage to keep everything in front of them. On Sunday, though, Frazier and his defensive staff mixed in a few wrinkles to their game plan, and it wound up making a huge impact on the game.

At various times, guys such as Chad Greenway, Erin Henderson, Marcus Sherels and Antoine Winfield could be spotted rushing Rams QB Sam Bradford. The cleverly-crafted defensive game plan paid big dividends midway through the 2nd quarter, when DL Everson Griffen broke the game wide open.

With the Rams facing a 3rd and 9 from their own 21, Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams decided to switch it up. What resulted was Griffen dropping in coverage in the middle of the field, where he found himself in perfect position to grab an INT on a pass intended for TE Lance Kendricks. Griffen hauled in the pass, broke to his left toward the sideline, and out-sprinted the rest of the Rams offense for a 29-yard TD that put the Vikings ahead 24-7.

It’s perhaps the best illustration of the Vikings design to be aggressive versus St. Louis because it represents a time when the Vikings executed a strategy the opposing team didn’t see coming.

“That was part of the game plan, to mix in some pressures with our four-man rush,” Frazier explained after the game. “We were able to, early on especially, get some effective pressures. The interception that Everson had came off of a pressure. We were able to hurry a throw and make him see something that wasn’t there. Everson did a terrific job of dropping in coverage. Good call by Alan to bring pressure when they were anticipating coverage, and it worked out well for us. And great run at the end of the catch by Everson as well.”

The Vikings defensive game plan resulted in more than flashy, game-breaking plays. A glance at the final stat sheet also shows that role players made a difference. Christian Ballard recorded a sack in the 2nd half and Letroy Guion registered a pass defensed.

“That’s what you need on the road,” Frazier said. “It’s hard to win if you just say ‘We’re going to be Adrian Peterson.’ We need contribution from a lot of people, and we got it today (Sunday).”

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 33 Comments »

33 Responses to “Cleverly-Crafted Defensive Game Plan Key In Vikings Win”

  1. By GrandDaddyPurp on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply


  2. By GrandDaddyPurp on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Who said Everson Griffen couldnt play linebacker?

  3. By RichardA1 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Do we look stupid? I could of sworn I seen a guy with number 28 on his shirt carrying every player on the team to a win. Be honest,! the team consist of A.P. running with the ball every play, and every defense knows it, it’s disgusting, you think Ponder might throw the ball deep to catch the D of guard!!

  4. By Assassin on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Houston you have a problem and it’s not the Assassin it’s Adrian Peterson he’s coming home to Palestine Tx. a few miles from Houston and he’s got something on his mind.

  5. By RichardA1 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Awesome, he should be up for the game. I was worried, Houstons got a good D, but he should be pumped being so close to home!

  6. By GrandDaddyPurp on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    As much as we are running AD I hope he can stay healthy.

  7. By OTKalil2012 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Play off scenarios….

  8. By Assassin on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Arian Foster the difference between you and i is that you run out of bounds, and i run through my opponents.Come this sunday in Houston at home you will know why they call me ALLDAY, sign the Assassin.

  9. By Assassin on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    In my profession people fear the name of the Assassin just as you will fear the name of Adrian Peterson.It ripples through every locker room.So get ready Houston,all i want to do is dish out Pain,Fear,Pain,Fear,Pain,Fear beat me if you can, sign the Assassin.

  10. By OTKalil2012 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Playoff scenario from a different site….I believe the first one I posted is correct above…

    That one being a Vikings site…

  11. By Ponder AKA 3 and out on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    like i said yesterday, it would of been better if Dallas would of lost yesterday. if Dallas wins the east by winning their last 2 games, Washington goes back in the wild card hunt and were in big trouble. also, if New York wins their last 2 games, were out, even if we win the last 2

  12. By Troutdaddy on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Ok- so I was a little short in my predictions for this week- Peterson rushd for More yards and Ponder threw for More yards than I expected. I did not see Walsh kicking 5 field goals either. THIS IS A GOOD THING! Once again I am not going to complain or bad mouth any of the players or coaches with one exception- Musgrave has got to quit being so frugal in the 4th quarter. He should have stuck to the plan and used Peterson to get some first downs and closed it out without having to punt. Still I am very happy with the win. I said we would win at least 9 this year and now I am hoping for 10. I am kinda uneasy as to the possibility of winning out and still not make the playoffs? 10 and 6 and not make the playoffs? That would be a crock. Well all I can say is that Seattle and Washington need to lose- but most importantly the Vikes need to win their final 2 games. Houston is going to be a fuin game to watch and will be a lot closer. I am saying Vikings 28, Texans 24. Peterson will get 158 yards this week and have 2 TD’s. I hope that Ponder can continue to do well. He played smart yesterday and you could tell he was fired up. Way to go kid- no INT’s!!!

  13. By Ponder AKA 3 and out on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    the Vikings have less than a 50 percent chance of going to the playoffs even if we win out

  14. By paul on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Looked pretty athletic for a big guy didn’t he?

  15. By James on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Did ya see KIRK COUSIN??? yes he’s a ROOKIE and he put up better numbers than ponder and he won the game for the redskin!!! where’s our scout??? are they doing their job?? Kirk Cousin was drafted in the later rounds meaning we could have picked him up!!! wow this team don’t know talents!!!

  16. By paul on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    @RichardA1 I think I saw Ponder making a lot of throws that had to be made to keep drives going. I think I saw the Rams stuff Peterson all the first drive and Ponder doing it with his arm and his legs. I think I saw Peterson get 133 yards of his 212 on 2 plays. Peterson was a big part of the win but without Ponder we wouldn’t have won that game. Give the kid a little credit

  17. By DRS. on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    NFC playoff picture

    Updated: December 16, 2012 – 11:30 PM

  18. By Sherry Holst on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Good Morning Houston, this is Vikings Control …. lol…. we’re comin for ya and there will be a lot of purple/gold in the stands on Sunday. I can’t wait!!


  19. By purplehaze1 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    ALL DAY Sunday for 200 and the Sack Daddy on parade: that would be fun…GO VIKES!!!

  20. By Smith22DMVP on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Good game overall. Ponder showed a better head than earlier. I think if we can give him a good WR outside Harvin another offseason and he could be a solid QB. yes he needs work. but a deep threat and a strong offseason of training could do him wonders. Many good Qbs have said that the second year was the hardest for them. I say if he gets an outside threat and doesnt step up next year its time to look for other answers, but not yet. The D play great again, rookie CB needs some help, mismatched size wise alot is tough on a rookie.. hopefully cook comes back to let him take a better match up. I really think if Ponder takes a small step forward from this game next week, and the D shows up we have a real shot at houston. The double TE set is a good move, should have been doing that all year. more options and more protection when needed, great for a struggling QB to boost confidence. AP hopefully will continue his Shock and Awe. things look great for next season either way. I have faith we will make more great picks in the draft and improve this team!

  21. By Ponder AKA 3 and out on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    the Vikings do not control their own destiny. they need ALOT of help

  22. By DRS. on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Looking forward to outdoor football next year.

  23. By DRS. on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Vikings stadium: Bid process begins; construction could start in October
    By Doug Belden

    Posted: 12/07/2012 12:01:00 AM CST

    December 8, 2012 4:14 AM GMTUpdated: 12/07/2012 10:14:22 PM CST

  24. By DRS. on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Minn. gov.: No plan to redo Vikings stadium plan

    By BRIAN BAKST, Associated Press

    Dec 6, 3:39 pm EST

  25. By DRS. on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Minnesota Vikings: 5 Reasons Vikings Will Make Playoffs in 2012By Brian Dezelske(Correspondent) on December 5, 2011

  26. By DRS. on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    I wonder if the five reasons still hold true today.

  27. By DRS. on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    NFC North Week 15 Quarterback Report

  28. By DRS. on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply


  29. By OTKalil2012 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply


    You should repost some of these sites on the new blog….

  30. By robb on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Vikings will stun the world Sunday defeating the Texans!They are surging now,getting better and better each week.Defense is strong and the team as a whole has a semblance of their week three form.Ponder is getting better,too,slowly coming back to the team’s 5-1 look.Plus the Vikings are essentially healthier than most.All AP needs is a crack, a small seam,to run wild again and the Vikings are up to it,especially with Jerome Felton’s lead blocking.The Vikings handle this and Green Bay will pose no threat at home.Vikings on to the playoffs!

  31. By Carl on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Do you think we need more than one reciever? That brings me to my next question are we waiting to see if Greg Childs comes back. I would like to see a recieving core of Harvin, Childs, Wright, Williams (R), Summers.

  32. By 4eversteve on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Wow I tried to post about how well Jerome Felton has paved the way for AP and the post just disappeared.

  33. By Carl on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    On the defensive side of the ball i can see in the future DL Griffen, Ballard, Williams (R), Robison. LB’s Greenway, Brinkley, Cole. CB’s Cook, Burton,Robinson. Sfty’s Smith, Sanford, Raymond.

    What do you think Wobby?

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