Vikings defense embarrassed by performance

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 14, 2013 - 6:26 AM

Josh Robinson struggled again, but he wasn’t alone against the normally passive Panthers.

The Vikings secondary began its Sunday with safety Jamarca Sanford dropping an easy interception. Things went downhill from there.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton posted a career-high 143.4 passer rating, completing 76.9 percent of his passes with three touchdowns, no turnovers, one sack and a 9.3-yard average per completion against a team that played worse than its 29th-placed ranking in pass defense.

“This is embarrassing,” cornerback Chris Cook said after a 35-10 loss at Mall of America Field. “I feel like everybody feels the same way.”

If they don’t, they probably should. After all, the Panthers came in ranked 30th in passing and 27th in scoring at 18.5 points per game.

Cook’s holding penalty on Steve Smith negated what would have been an early drive-stopping sack by Chad Greenway on Carolina’s third offensive snap. Thirteen plays later, Smith beat embattled slot corner Josh Robinson on a crossing route for a 2-yard touchdown.

“There was a lot of traffic inside, and I just got crossed up,” Robinson said. “I got to get through the traffic and make a play on the ball.”

It wouldn’t be Robinson’s first gaffe of the day. Nor the worst one.

With the Vikings trailing 14-3 on the third snap of the second half, Robinson blew his zone coverage responsibility, creating a massive opening for Newton to throw one of the easiest 79-yard touchdown passes that you will ever see at this level.

Robinson said he got “caught up playing the down and distance [third-and-3].” He was looking into the backfield while Brandon LaFell was blazing past him.

“They ran a deeper route than I expected,” Robinson said. “I have to be more aware and be there for that play.”

Frazier and the Vikings have supported Robinson through a rough start as the guy who replaced Antoine Winfield, who was released in March. But that might change. Frazier rotated Marcus Sherels with Robinson by pregame design Sunday, but it sounds as if the coach might be open to a full-time change.

“We’ll evaluate it this week and just see what’s going on at that position,” Frazier said.

Although Winfield is staying in shape in Houston, the chances of him showing up at Winter Park diminish even further with each loss.

“I won’t get into that,” Cook said. “Some guys got in trouble for talking about personnel earlier in the year, so I won’t get into it. Antoine is a good guy, and I miss him being around, his personality and leadership.”

Although the Vikings didn’t stop the run very well either (131 yards and two touchdowns), there’s more frustration mounting with the pass defense. Newton went 5-for-5 for 119 yards and a touchdown on third downs.

The Panthers also scored touchdowns on all four trips into the red zone, including a 10-yard reception in which fullback Mike Tolbert broke four tackles.

And things could get worse considering the secondary’s two best players — safety Harrison Smith (turf toe) and cornerback Xavier Rhodes (ankle) — left Sunday’s game because of injuries.

“Coming out of halftime, we thought, ‘All right, it could have been a lot worse,’ ” defensive end Jared Allen said. “And then we give up what felt like a 200-yard pass. It’s not funny, but at some point you just have to laugh about it, like, ‘What in the heck is going on?’ ”

  • related content

  • Brandon LaFell hauled in a pass for a 79-yard touchdown reception at the beginning of the third quarter. Josh Robinson blew the coverage on the play.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Diego 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Indiana 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Detroit
Dallas 7:00 PM
New Orleans
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Boston
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Detroit
Vancouver 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Chicago 7:00 PM
Nashville
Arizona 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Carolina 8:00 PM
Calgary
Buffalo 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Columbus 9:30 PM
San Jose
Connecticut 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who should get the Twins' managing job?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close