Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5 other subscribers

MN Vikings Tweets

Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings defense takes care of business after Rodgers’ injury

By Matthew Coller

Good quarterbacks struggle against the Minnesota Vikings’ defense. Backup quarterbacks have no shot.

So when Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone on the second drive of Sunday’s game at US Bank Stadium, the Vikings’ chances to win went up 10 fold – so long as their defense continued to play like one of the league’s best.

And so it did.

On the Packers’ first drive without Rodgers, cornerback Mackensie Alexander jumped a quick out route and tipped the ball up in the air right into the hands of Xavier Rhodes.

The Vikings’ offense quickly turned backup quarterback Brett Hundley’s miscue into points as Jerick McKinnon caught a screen pass and ran 27 yards for a touchdown.

Case Keenum and the Vikings’ offense wasn’t always helpful in the effort to shut down Green Bay’s second string QB. McKinnon fumbled, setting the Packers up for their lone touchdown.

On the following drive, Harrison Smith, arguably the team’s MVP through the first six weeks, surprised Hundley on a blitz and sacked him for a 7-yard loss on third down.

Keenum tossed an interception of his own with 5:39 remaining in the second quarter. But the Vikings only allowed a field goal – though they were assisted by a dropped pass from running back Ty Montgomery at the goal line.

The Vikings gave the Packers no more chances to score after that. On offense they grinded out two long field goal drives in the third quarter, killing more than 10 minutes combined.

With the Vikings up by 10 early in the four quarter, Smith struck again, diving to intercept a pass from Hundley. That was the dagger as kicker Kai Forbath knocked home a 53-yard field goal to put the Vikings up 23-10.

Hundley finished the game 19-for-33 passing with three interceptions and plenty of bruises.

Run defense has been a strength of the Vikings’ defense all season. They entered Sunday’s game ranking fourth in the NFL allowing just 3.4 yards per carry. After Rodgers’ exit, the Packers could have continued to attack Minnesota with their backfield tandem of Montgomery – who averaged 5.9 yards per carry last year – and rookie Aaron Jones, who gained 125 yards last week against the Cowboys. But the middle of the Vikings’ defense was again dominant, allowing just 72 yards on 24 carries.

The win over the Packers is hardly the first in which the Vikings’ defense has excelled. In Week 5, they allowed just 12-for-25 passing to rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky and held the Bears without an offensive point in the first half.

It’s unlikely that this will be the last time the Vikings call upon their defense to win a game. FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer reported that Sam Bradford’s injury is worse than previously reported and the earliest Teddy Bridgewater could return is in several weeks.

With matchups against the Ravens and Browns coming up, the Vikings’ defense alone could put them in the driver’s seat in the NFC North with Rodgers likely out for the year.

The post Vikings defense takes care of business after Rodgers’ injury appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>