Lessons Learned: Big Time Defense Makes All The Difference
There is no doubt that Adrian Peterson led the Vikings to victory on Sunday, but it was the rarely seen big plays out of the Vikings defense that turned this one into a runaway win for the purple and gold.
The Vikings four sacks of Sam Bradford (Greenway, Ballard, Henderson, and Robison) are nothing out of the norm for the modern day Vikings, but they seemed to have the desire and ability to put an inferior team away on a couple of occasions. This is most noticeable because this is something we have seen very rarely this year.
Prior to Sunday, the Vikings had only 9 interceptions and Harrison Smith’s two touchdowns were the only ones returned for scores. That is why it was so nice to see Alan Williams mixing in some different looks, blitzing a little more often than normal, and dropping Everson Griffen back into the coverage scheme that resulted in the Vikings third pick six of the season.
The interception, coupled with Chad Greenway’s opportunistic fumble recovery, gave the Vikings the keys to their first two touchdown victory since week five against the Titans.
Incredible performances out of Adrian Peterson, the Vikings defense, and their special teams unit meant that the pressure was largely off of quarterback Christian Ponder which is exactly how they are going to continue to stay competitive in their remaining two weeks.
Big plays from the defense turned this game from a nail biter into a blowout and that is something I think we need to see more of as this young team grows into a legitimate force.
At the beginning of this month I stated that the Vikings playoff hopes died on Lambeau Field in their week 13 loss and while I still think that will be the case, I have great hopes for the future based off of what this young defense has shown me this season.
It would appear, however, that this team might be once again looking at the quarterback position as their top offseason need in order to continue taking things to the next level.