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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Ball hawks: Vikings keep racking up interceptions

    From Star-Telegram.com

    Posted on Sun, Dec. 11, 2005

    [size=18px]Ball hawks: Vikings keep racking up interceptions[/size]

    DAVE CAMPBELL
    Associated Press


    MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Vikings lost five times in their first seven games, throwing 12 interceptions and picking off only four of their opponents' passes in those defeats.

    Now their secondary is busy reminding the other guys' quarterbacks how it feels to watch a ball land in the hands of someone wearing the wrong color uniform.

    With five more interceptions in Sunday's 27-13 victory over St. Louis, Minnesota moved into second place in the league with a team total of 23.

    With safeties Corey Chavous and Darren Sharper confusing Rams rookie Ryan Fitzpatrick by consistently disguising coverages before the snap, cornerbacks Antoine Winfield, Brian Williams and Fred Smoot playing tight against Torry Holt and the other talented receivers, and the front line providing plenty of pressure, the Vikings gave themselves plenty of opportunities to pick off Fitzpatrick's passes.

    The Harvard grad showed a smooth touch, but several of his throws were either off-target or ill-advised. He finished 26-for-45 for 235 yards, but the five interceptions could easily have been eight - with Ralph Brown dropping an easy one in the first quarter and Sharper nearly coming up with a couple before finally getting his team-leading eighth in the final minute.

    Williams had two, Smoot had one in his first game in five weeks and Winfield also had one. Smoot's and Sharper's were in the end zone, keeping St. Louis from getting close.

    "When that ball was in the air, we made the plays we had to make," said Winfield, whose four interceptions are the most he's had in seven career NFL seasons.

    After years of embarrassment, giving up huge chunks of points and yardage against high-powered offenses like the Rams, Minnesota's secondary began showing serious improvement in 2003 when Chavous went to the Pro Bowl and the team amassed 28 interceptions. Last year, that total slipped to 11, and injuries depleted the depth. But adding Smoot and Sharper via free agency gave the Vikings their best group of defensive backs in well more than a decade.

    Experience is the biggest thing. Each of the top six players have at least five years in the league. Savvy sure comes in handy, especially against a youngster like Fitzpatrick.

    "I love playing against rookie quarterbacks," Sharper said. "Because you know you're going to get good opportunities. Especially against a team that throws a lot."

    Preparation, as always, is paramount.

    "We knew the game was going to be on the secondary," Brown said. "The Rams don't beat you by running the ball. They beat you by throwing the ball."

    Minnesota (8-5) has 17 interceptions during the six-game winning streak. The pass rush, led by nose tackle Pat Williams, has been a big factor. But so have sticky hands.

    "The main thing is we're catching the ball, which really hasn't happened a lot," Winfield said.

    Coach Mike Tice was clearly pleased that St. Louis managed only one touchdown, on a bootleg by Fitzpatrick in the third quarter.

    "Every time they were challenged, I felt they rose to the occasion," Tice said. "They were determined to not let 'em in there."

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    whackthepack is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Ball hawks: Vikings keep racking up interceptions

    Ralph Brown should have intercepted that pass, and with his location on the field it should have been for a TD!
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  3. #3
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    Re: Ball hawks: Vikings keep racking up interceptions

    Ya Ralphie would have had a Pick 6 for sure. O well we won and thats all I care about.

    Theres NOTHING greater then a Florida Gator!
    "I promise everyone this. When Childress is let go in two years I can honestly say this.
    "I am not surprised"."-PurplePackerEater

  4. #4
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    Re: Ball hawks: Vikings keep racking up interceptions

    All right, DBs!!! Pick those passes!!! Pick those passes!!!
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  5. #5
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    Re: Ball hawks: Vikings keep racking up interceptions

    Big Ben isn't much more of a veteran QB then Fitzpatrick as he is finishing his second season and the Bengals the only team that is more of a ball hawk team then us picked him 3 times we should be able to force some turnovers to take advantage on them.
    Minnesota Vikings : Simply the best

  6. #6
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    Re: Ball hawks: Vikings keep racking up interceptions

    Pittsburgh is one of those teams that does not play well in noisy domes (see Nov 28th against Indy). Indy took away the run and put the heat on rottenburger when he was passing. The one person whom concerns me on the Steelers is Da Bus. I watched him literally run over a good Bears D yesterday. Big Pat has to hit him hard and early to keep Bettis from getting a head of steam. But the Pitts D is suspect at times. Manning threw an 80 yard pass to Harrison on the first play of the game for the Colts. Brad showed us all against Detroit that he can still heave the ball downfield. I would like to see another long ball to K Rob.

    We can force BR into bad passes and disguise our coverages to confuse him. As long as we can make him have to pass. We must flatten the Bus's tires.
    ...Rodgers had to hold on the ball longer, giving players like Jared "I am completely insane and will literally eat your children" Allen time to sack Rodgers again.And again. And again. Actually I think Rodgers may have nightmares about Jared Allen the rest of the year.

  7. #7
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    Re: Ball hawks: Vikings keep racking up interceptions

    "TARKenton" wrote:
    The one person whom concerns me on the Steelers is Da Bus. I watched him literally run over a good Bears D yesterday. Big Pat has to hit him hard and early to keep Bettis from getting a head of steam.
    I dont think fat pat is about to get run over by anybody, but it should be interesting to see who wins that battle

  8. #8
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    Re: Ball hawks: Vikings keep racking up interceptions

    Fat Pat Vs the Bus.. Pat wins.. Jerome gets worn out easy I hear and he is breaking down alot.. He doesnt even practice til Thursday.. I'm more scared of thier D.. We didn't do too good against the 31st ranked D.. We did ok but now we gotta play a MUCH MUCH MUCH better D

  9. #9
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    Re: Ball hawks: Vikings keep racking up interceptions

    "FuadFan" wrote:
    Big Ben isn't much more of a veteran QB then Fitzpatrick as he is finishing his second season and the Bengals the only team that is more of a ball hawk team then us picked him 3 times we should be able to force some turnovers to take advantage on them.
    If we can get pressure on Big Ben and stop the run, i think we have a good shot to pick some off. GO VIKINGS

    Thank to Lotza

  10. #10
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    Re: Ball hawks: Vikings keep racking up interceptions

    Exactly ancoin. If you take a look at Ben's games this season, he does not do well when under pressure from the blitz. I think that if we can get constant pressure on Ben the game will be ours.

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