Vikings' Three-and-Out: Noise, cornerbacks and 'Beast Mode'
- Article by: Mark Craig
- Star Tribune
- November 14, 2013 - 12:27 AM
We’ll take a moment here to steer clear of the Vikings’ quarterback situation and whether a certain former disgruntled Vikings receiver will make his Seahawks debut against the Vikings after missing the first 10 games because of offseason hip surgery. Here instead are three things we think you should know …
1. Splitting ear drums in Seattle
CenturyLink Field is an open-air stadium that’s not fully encircled by seats. It also makes no sense to the architecturally-challenged layman when it comes to just how stinking loud it gets on game day.
“It really is [the loudest NFL stadium], to be honest with you,” Vikings left guard Charlie Johnson said. “Everywhere on the road is loud, but it’s just something about that place. I guess they say they designed it that way and what not, but it really is the loudest place I’ve played.”
Although it appears the noise would leave the stadium, Johnson said that’s definitely not the case.
“It feels the opposite,” he said. “It feels like it’s is coming down, feels louder. I can’t explain it, it’s really loud.”
Since 2002, the NFC’s best home-field advantage belongs to the Packers, who are 65-28 (.699) at home. Next toughest is Seattle, which is 63-29 (.685) at home.
And guess where the Vikings play the next two weeks. Yep, Seattle followed by Green Bay.
2. Stockpiling DBs in Seattle
Every team talks about stockpiling quality defensive backs, particularly cornerbacks, to stay competitive during long seasons in a pass-crazed league. But only a few teams are able to actually do it. Seattle is one.
That should allow the 9-1 Seahawks to weather what’s expected to be a lengthy absence for Pro Bowl corner Brandon Browner, a 6-4 mauler in press coverage, who is out because of a groin injury. Replacing him will be nickel back Walter Thurmond, who started the first two games — both wins — when Browner was out because of a hamstring injury. Byron Maxwell, meanwhile, moves up to the No. 3 corner spot.
“Across the board, you see the guys who are stepping in and playing, and it’s not a big drop-off,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. “They’ve done a very, very good job of creating quality depth on their roster. It’s one of the reasons they’re doing so well. They have very good, quality depth.”
The Seahawks rank No. 2 in holding down their opponents’ passer rating. Only Kansas City, at 67.8, ranks better than Seattle’s 70.4. The opponents’ passer rating for the Vikings is 98.4, the seventh-worst mark in the league.
3. ‘Beast Mode’ vs. ‘All Day’
The Seahawks’ weekly news release notes that Seattle running back Marshawn “Beast Mode’ Lynch leads the NFL in rushing with 3,402 yards since Week 9 of the 2011 season. Adrian “All Day” Peterson is No. 2 with 3,058 yards.
Peterson, of course, missed four games at the end of the 2011 season because of an ankle injury and torn knee ligaments. His average per carry (5.4) also is higher than Lynch’s 4.7. But, hey, either guy knows a thing or two about running over, around and through defenders.
Lynch ranks second in rushing this year with 871 yards and seven touchdowns on 191 carries (4.6). Peterson, in one fewer game, is fourth with 786 yards and an NFL-high nine touchdowns on 173 carries (4.5).
“Lynch is a good one,” Frazier said. “He’s got the power, he’s got the ability to run through tackles. You don’t see him get knocked down by one guy very often. He runs through contact often.
“He’s more of a between-the-tackles type of runner. You’ll see some runs on the perimeter, but more inside runs. Long runs. I think he’s leading the league in 10-[yard]-plus runs. So he’s a very impressive back. But Adrian? Adrian is in a class by himself. I have a lot of respect for Marshawn’s talents and what he’s accomplished. But there’s only one Adrian Peterson.”
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