Souhan: Williams' second half picks up Vikings' defense

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 8, 2013 - 6:54 AM

Leslie Frazier got away with stopping the clock because Kevin Williams turned back time.

Nearing the end of a career that will cause Hall of Fame debates, Williams, the Vikings’ star tackle, helped his defense rise like a “Walking Dead” extra and bare its rotting teeth.

A week after complaining about defense play calls, and following a half of sheer embarrassment on national TV, Williams turned back the clock and Washington’s previously inscrutable offense, willing the Vikings to a 34-27 victory Thursday night.

By shifting to nose tackle, Williams plugged a gaping hole in the Vikings’ run defense, provided the interior pass rush his team has lacked, and paid homage to the other Williams in recent Vikings lore, fellow running mate Pat Williams.

“I thought about calling him, and I talked myself out of it,’’ Kevin Williams said late Thursday night. “But then I just decided to watch a little more tape.’’

It may still have been called “tape’’ when he recorded his last multiple-sack game, in 2009.

“Yeah, they keep reminding me, it’s been since 2009,’’ Williams said. “ I told them earlier, we don’t need to get any ideas. It’s a lot of banging inside at the nose. It’s just something the next man up has to do.’’

The Vikings dressed only 42 players instead of the usual 45 because of injuries. They had only three tackles available — Williams, Chase Baker and Sharrif Floyd. Williams wound up playing 64 snaps, far more than usual.

Williams’ second-half dominance helped the Vikings take the lead, and led to Frazier calling two perplexing timeouts in the last two minutes, when Washington was out of timeouts and scrambling.

Frazier’s first timeout came with 1:20 left, when Williams could barely make it off the field for a rest. Williams took a knee, gasping for breath.

Frazier’s second timeout came with 38 seconds remaining and Washington on the Vikings 4.

Vikings receiver Greg Jennings threw a fit over the timeouts, which saved Washington time and led to organized huddles. Williams, too, wondered about the strategy.

“Yeah,’’ he said. “That’s the only reason you can think of, because we were a little winded.

“I was a little surprised by the timeouts, but Coach was trying to give us a blow and not let us be in chaos, and it paid off.’’

Frazier said he called the timeouts to allow defenders to catch their breath, and to preserve time in case Washington scored and the Vikings needed time to drive.

Even if Kevin Williams disagreed with the strategy, he probably wasn’t eager to share his viewpoint. After he criticized defensive coordinator Alan Williams on Sunday, Frazier called his veterans together and asked that critiques be kept within the organization.

Kevin Williams complained Sunday because Alan Williams had him and other key pass rushers dropping into coverage on the Cowboys’ game-winning drive.

“It was heat of the moment,’’ Kevin Williams said. “I was just speaking on the front-line point of view. We always feel we can get there with four people, and we always like rushing four rather than dropping one. That’s all it was. It wasn’t anything more than that.’’

  • related content

  • Video: Postgame: Ponder has dislocated shoulder

    Friday November 8, 2013

    Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said quarterback Christian Ponder's 15-yard scramble, which led to a dislocated shoulder, will gain...

  • Vikings win, Ponder injured after guiding comeback

    Friday November 8, 2013

    The Vikings chased after their second victory, rallying from 27-14 down thanks to Christian Ponder offsetting a porous defense.

  • Jim Souhan grades the Vikings

    Friday November 8, 2013

    OFFENSE Souhan’s grade: bFor a night, Ponder to Carlson looked like Cunningham to Carter. Weird.DEFENSESouhan’s grade: bKevin Williams rallied this...

  • Souhan blog: Vikings ... win?

    Thursday November 7, 2013

    Second time in three years Vikings earn potentially costly victory over Washington

  • Mark Craig's five extra points

    Friday November 8, 2013

    1. About time on PattersonNine games into a lost season, Cordarrelle Patterson finally became visible on offense. On the Vikings’...

  • Kevin Williams sacked Robert Griffin III

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

St. Louis - LP: K. Siegrist 6 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 7
Toronto 4 Top 9th Inning
NY Yankees 6
Arizona 4 Top 7th Inning
Philadelphia 6
Washington 4 Top 8th Inning
Cincinnati 1
Boston 3 Bottom 7th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
San Diego 5 Top 7th Inning
Atlanta 1
Oakland 1 Bottom 6th Inning
Texas 2
NY Mets 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Milwaukee 0
Miami 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Houston 0
Chicago WSox 7 Top 6th Inning
Minnesota 1
Cleveland 3 Bottom 6th Inning
Kansas City 4
Pittsburgh 0 Top 5th Inning
Colorado 1
Detroit - D. Smyly 9:05 PM
LA Angels - T. Skaggs
Baltimore - K. Gausman 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 9:15 PM
San Francisco - T. Lincecum
Chivas USA 0 1st Half 40:00
Colorado 0
Calgary 26 FINAL
Edmonton 22
Winnipeg 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 7/26/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 7/26/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Winnipeg 7/31/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Tulsa 77 FINAL
Washington 82
Chicago 79 FINAL
Atlanta 75
San Antonio 70 4th Qtr 3:11
Minnesota 82
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 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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close