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Continued: Vikings have four areas to fix — and they must do it quickly

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 15, 2013 - 10:19 AM

3. Too many blades of grass

Anyone have a number for Pat Williams? Remember when the Williams Wall — Pat and Kevin — anchored the best run defense in the NFL?

The Vikings used to be so stout against the run that their motto was “blade of grass.” Give them a blade of grass and they could defend it.

The Vikings became the first team since the 1970 merger to lead the NFL in rushing defense three consecutive seasons (2006-08). They ranked second in 2009.

And now? They rank 17th in rush defense after finishing 22nd in each of the two previous seasons.

The Vikings once prided themselves on being able to make teams one-dimensional and thus predictable. But their inability to stuff the run puts even more pressure on their beleaguered secondary.

“When you can’t stop the run and you can’t stop the pass, what can you stop, right?” Allen said.

4. Blocking breakdown

The offensive line was expected to be an area of strength this season, but that group’s performance has fluctuated week to week. The entire offense revolves around Adrian Peterson’s running and the line’s ability to open holes and clear lanes for him.

Peterson is averaging 96.6 yards rushing per game and 4.7 yards per carry. Those numbers are pretty similar to his career averages.

But of Peterson’s 102 carries this season, 21 have resulted in zero or negative yardage. That puts the offense in unfavorable situations on second and third down.

Opponents will continue to commit extra defenders to stop Peterson so the Vikings must be able to control the line of scrimmage for their offense to properly function.



 

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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
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

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