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

Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota - T. May 6:05 PM
Baltimore - M. Gonzalez
NY Yankees - C. Capuano 6:07 PM
Toronto - M. Buehrle
Philadelphia - D. Buchanan 6:10 PM
NY Mets - J. deGrom
Boston - A. Ranaudo 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Miami - T. Koehler 6:35 PM
Atlanta - E. Santana
Cleveland - D. Salazar 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Vargas
Detroit - J. Verlander 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - S. Carroll
Texas - S. Baker 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Oberholtzer
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks 7:15 PM
St. Louis - S. Miller
Colorado - C. Bergman 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Oakland - J. Lester 9:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Los Angeles - D. Haren 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Washington - J. Zimmermann 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 7:00 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who would you rather have on your team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close