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.’’

Thursday, Alan Williams was the one begging to be heard. He gave the defense a halftime tongue-lashing.

“We came in and we didn’t draw anything on the board, we just said we weren’t getting it done,’’ Kevin Williams said. “We could draw up all the plays we wanted, and if we didn’t execute, they were going to run us out of here. Either we were going to get embarrassed or stand up and fight.’’

They did both, in turns.

As the last minutes ticked away and Washington drove, Frazier gave Kevin Williams another chance to second-guess a coach.

Williams’ brain told him the timeouts were ill-advised, but his body welcomed them.

“At first, you’re like, ‘What’s going on?’ but in the back of your mind, you’re like, ‘Yes, I got a blow!’ ” he said. “It paid off in our favor.

“If it hadn’t, we’d be discussing something different.’’

 

Jim Souhan can be heard weekdays at noon and Sundays from 10 to noon on 1500 ESPN. His Twitter name is @SouhanStrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Video: Access Vikings: Can't lose 'em all

    Friday November 8, 2013

    The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Washington Redskins 34-27, but starting quarterback Christian Ponder dislocated his left shoulder and did...

  • 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

NY Mets 0 Top 2nd Inning
Washington 0
Baltimore 0 Bottom 1st Inning
NY Yankees 0
Kansas City 0 Top 2nd Inning
Cleveland 0
Seattle 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Toronto 1
Chicago WSox 0 Top 2nd Inning
Detroit 0
Philadelphia 0 Top 2nd Inning
Miami 0
Pittsburgh 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Atlanta 0
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Cincinnati 1
Tampa Bay 0 Top 2nd Inning
Boston 0
Houston - B. Oberholtzer 7:05 PM
Texas - N. Martinez
St. Louis - S. Miller 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks
Arizona - A. Chafin 7:10 PM
Minnesota - K. Gibson
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 9:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New England 9/29/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Carolina 0 1st Prd 7:01
Buffalo 0
Pittsburgh 0 1st Prd 4:07
Columbus 0
Boston 6:30 PM
Montreal
Nashville 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Toronto
Detroit 7:30 PM
Chicago
San Jose 8:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Vancouver 9:30 PM
San Jose
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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 NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
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 struggling team is in the worst shape?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close