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Continued: Screen stings stalwart defense

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 4, 2009 - 11:38 PM

The Vikings defense executed its game plan effectively for 3 1/2 quarters Sunday.

They shut down the Philadelphia Eagles run game, held Brian Westbrook in check and got pressure on quarterback Donovan McNabb. But the bottom fell out on one disastrous play in a 26-14 playoff loss at the Metrodome.

Trailing 16-14 in the fourth quarter, the Vikings needed one more stop to give their offense another chance. But on first down, Westbrook took a screen pass 71 yards for a touchdown.

Ballgame.

"You don't want to give up a 71-yard screen, but if that happens in the first quarter or first half you can recover from it," defensive end Jared Allen said. "If it happens in the fourth quarter when you're down by two ... I thought we were dominating. We were taking away what we needed to take away. The sad part is I thought we played well enough to win until that screen play."

Said linebacker Ben Leber: "You take away that one play and we played pretty solid. But it's hard to really hang your hat on a good performance when you give up a play like that."

Defensive tackle Kevin Williams got within a step of McNabb on the pass rush but tripped as McNabb released the ball. That gave McNabb a clear lane to dump the ball off to Westbrook, who had a convoy of blockers.

Cornerback Antoine Winfield dived for Westbrook at the 45-yard line but just missed. "We can't give up that play at that point in the game," Winfield said.

That play was the only real blemish on an otherwise solid performance by a defense that played without injured starting linemen Pat Williams and Ray Edwards.

The Vikings made the Eagles completely one-dimensional, holding them to 67 yards rushing. Minnesota also had an interception by Cedric Griffin and a sack-strip by Allen, three sacks and seven quarterback hurries.

"We harassed him all day," Kevin Williams said. "He couldn't get his feet set. He was getting away from a lot of sacks that we should have had. ... Whoever thought the guy is immobile or falling off is sadly mistaken."

McNabb also took advantage of soft spots in the Vikings defense. He repeatedly found receivers over the middle.

"We ran a lot of zone blitzes, which is similar to what their defense does," Winfield said. "He knows where the weaknesses are and he hit a few today."

Still, the defense held the Eagles to three field goals and gave the Vikings a chance until that game-breaking screen play.

"I wish we could go back and have it over, that's for sure," Leber said.

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Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
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Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
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Quinnipiac 80
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Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
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Bradley 80
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Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
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Jackson State 66
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Ole Miss 71
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South Dakota 55
LSU 79 FINAL
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
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Cal State Fullerton 72
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Oregon State 90
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Pacific 69
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San Francisco 77
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Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
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Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
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Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
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Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
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Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
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Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
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New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
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Grand Canyon 51
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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 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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