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Statistics show that they have a chance to be the best ever.

 

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Vikings opponents in a hurry to not rush

Statistics say the Vikings are on pace to have one of the best run defenses in NFL history. Strategy says opponents are all but abandoning the rush, simply because their chances of success on the ground are slim.

Kevin Seifert, Star Tribune

Last update: December 11, 2006 – 9:59 PM

 

Fifty-one yards to glory. No, it's not a Burt Reynolds movie or the title of a Vince Lombardi book. It's the result of a little figuring and some of the best rush defense in NFL history.

A day after limiting Detroit to minus-3 rushing yards in a 30-20 victory, the Vikings set their sights on another number. If they hold their final three opponents to a combined 51 rushing yards, the Vikings would finish the regular season with the lowest average of rushing yards allowed per game since the league began keeping records in 1920.

 

The all-time NFL record stands at 47.18 yards per game, set by the 1942 Chicago Bears in an 11-game season. Through 13 games this year, the Vikings are allowing 54.08 yards. The modern-day record (since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger) was set by the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, who allowed 60.63 yards per game.

 

The Vikings could better the Bears' mark if their season total -- which stands at 703 yards -- rises no higher than 754.

 

Think it sounds crazy to suggest holding three teams to a total of 51 yards, an average of 17 yards per game? Consider that in this season's increasingly amazing performance, the Vikings have held opponents to fewer than 17 yards rushing four times.

 

"We're just not worried about that," nose tackle Pat Williams said Monday. "We'll worry about that stuff later. Our main goal every week is to smash the run. We don't need to worry about any records. We'll just go out there and do it."

 

As it stands, the Vikings will break the Ravens' modern-day record if they hold the New York Jets, Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Rams to fewer than a combined 267 rushing yards. That would fall in line with a streak that has grown into one of the most impressive trends of the NFL season.

 

No individual rusher has produced a 100-yard game against the Vikings this season, and only two teams -- Washington and Carolina in the year's first two games -- have amassed 100 yards against them. After giving up a season-high 107 yards Sept. 17 in their overtime victory over the Panthers, the Vikings have held their next 11 opponents to fewer than 100 yards.

 

Detroit managed 16 yards Oct. 8. Miami was credited with four yards Nov. 19. Arizona had 17, on an NFL record-low six carries, Nov. 26. Those figures hit a new depth Sunday in Detroit, where the Lions' minus-3 yards was the lowest rushing total in 35 years of NFL games.

 

The Elias Sports Bureau upheld that number Monday after its weekly film review, putting the Vikings a full 341 yards ahead of the league's second-best run defense -- the Ravens, who have allowed 1,044 yards.

 

"We're the No. 1 run defense now, so we want to keep it that way until the end of the season," defensive tackle Kevin Williams said. "But it's not like we sit back and, 'Oh, we need this many yards to set a record.' When you go doing that, that's when the plays get away from you and it's something that you're really pressing to try to do."

 

The Vikings have been able to limit that focus in part because most teams are not trying to run against them. That scenario typically emerges when teams play catch-up through the passing game, but the Vikings have held double-digit leads in only four games during their six-victory season.

 

Even so, opponents have attempted 15 or fewer carries in five games, including three of the past four.

 

"I've been on top defenses before," Pat Williams said, "and everybody kept it balanced. I've never been on a defense where people rush it 10 or 12 times and they just quit. But they look at us and say, 'I don't want any of that mess.' "

 

Both Pat and Kevin Williams noted the importance of the Vikings' early run defense Sunday against the Lions; tailback Kevin Jones lost yardage on his first three carries -- including a weak attempt to bounce an interior run outside. Linebacker Ben Leber drilled Jones for an 8-yard loss.

 

"They'll start toward us inside, but then they'll bounce it out," Pat Williams said. "You can see it happen, and you can see it happen fast. Then, they won't even try. ... I talk to a lot of guys around the league, and they tell us we're just smashing the run. Coaches don't want to run against us."

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I think blaming the success of the Vikes rush defense on a bad pass defense is simplistic. If you've watched many of their games, you would know that pretty much any time any team tries to run the ball, they are stuffed. They truly are an AWESOME run defense, and that is a great thing to start moving forward with in the years to come.

 

The pass defense has seemingly gotten worse as the season progressed, at least yardage wise, but that does not tell the whole story. They have only allowed just 13 passing TDs all year, while picking off 18 balls - and there are only six defenses in the league that have more INT's than passing TD's allowed. You can guess what defenses those are, they are considered the best in the league.

 

Overall, the Vikes are #4 in TOTAL defense. #9 in scoring defense, allowing less than 20 points per game.

 

Looks like a pretty good defense to me, and the run part of it is the best in the league, by 26 yards per game over the next closest defense.

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all those great run defenders will be watching the playoffs from the couch ...

 

 

Far from a sure bet at this point. Jets, Packers, Rams is not a very rigorous schedule, realistically. Not too far out of the realm of possibility that your squad could be watching the Vikes playoff game from their prison exercise yard black and white tv in three weeks.

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I could see the Bangles losing to Indy, Pitt and Denver, or at least two of those games down the stretch. Week to week, who the heck knows this season? Agree that the Vikes are an unlikely playoff entrant, but early for taunting, my friend.

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I could see the Bangles losing to Indy, Pitt and Denver, or at least two of those games down the stretch. Week to week, who the heck knows this season? Agree that the Vikes are an unlikely playoff entrant, but early for taunting, my friend.

 

 

:D you suck!

 

(how's that for taunting ...)

 

:D

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As the article said all teams have tried to run against the Vikes at some point during the games this year. It's just that they've given up on it after getting stuffed over and over again. Some teams keep trying and others don't. Last week, the Lions had the ball on the Vikes 1 yard line. They tried to run it in and got stuffed each time. One of those plays included the play where K Jones got injured. Of course the obvious play was not to try to run it in on each of those attempts but it is what it is. The Lions aren't so good at solving game strategy.

 

This wasn't a chest thumping thread. The Vikes have a ways to go as a team but rushing defense isn't an area that needs improvement, imo. There's no doubt that the likes of Pat Williams will be watching the pro bowl game when February comes around. But none of those players selected will have done what he's done this year, that is completely shut down the run as possibly never been done before.

 

If you have a RB playing against the Vikes, I'd look elsewhere for production. Kevin Jones has been one of my most valuable players this season for me. I didn't play him last week.

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