Grant just 'snuck up' on the defense

  • Updated: November 11, 2007 - 10:08 PM

GREEN BAY, WIS. - How bad did things get Sunday in the Vikings' 34-0 loss to Green Bay? Even their run defense, a staple through all the ups and downs of the past two seasons, had a rough day.

Packers tailback Ryan Grant ran for 81 yards in the first quarter alone and finished with 119 yards on 25 carries. In so doing, Grant became only the second 100-yard rusher the Vikings have allowed in their past 25 games.

The other was St. Louis' Steven Jackson, who amassed 142 yards in last year's season-ending blowout at the Metrodome.

"I'm not used to seeing the ball run on our defense that way," said Vikings coach Brad Childress, whose team was the NFL's top-ranked rush defense last year and entered Sunday's game ranked No. 2 overall.

The Packers capitalized on a surprise element in the first half, running some plays out of the shotgun/spread formation when all the announced 70,945 fans at Lambeau Field expected them to open the game with 50 consecutive passes.

In the teams' Sept. 30 meeting at the Metrodome, the Packers threw on 20 of their first 26 plays. Sunday, however, they ran on eight of their first 19.

The Packers also made a concerted effort to pitch the ball toward the outside, away from run-stopping nose tackle Pat Williams.

"They snuck up on us a little bit," linebacker E.J. Henderson said. "But whatever they do, we've got to adjust to it. We didn't do a good job adjusting in the first half. In the second half, I think we did a better job. But we didn't do that from the start. We can't give up 100 yards in the first half and play our style of defense."

Overall, Green Bay finished with 120 rushing yards. The Packers and Cowboys (128 yards) are the only Vikings opponents this season to rush for at least 100 yards as a team.

KEVIN SEIFERT

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