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  1. #1
    gregair13's Avatar
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    'D' keeps Vikings sailing along

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=dkeepsvikingssailingalon&prov=tsn&type=l gns

    'D' keeps Vikings sailing along

    By Brian Baldinger - SportingNews

    They traded their best player in the offseason, lost their center and quarterback to injuries and had an embarrassing incident involving players and strippers on a boat. Halfway through the season, the Vikings looked like they were about to implode.

    But they somehow picked themselves up, battled back and now have a legitimate chance of making the playoffs. With their win over the Rams on Sunday -- their sixth victory in a row -- they improved to 8-5 and moved within a game of first-place Chicago in the NFC North.

    You certainly could credit quarterback Brad Johnson, who has won all six of his starts since replacing Daunte Culpepper. Or Koren Robinson, who might not be Randy Moss but has come up big as a receiver and kick returner.

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    But to me, what has fueled this turnaround has been the defense.

    It has forced turnovers (five interceptions and one fumble against the Rams), shut down running games and allowed few big plays. And the Vikings have done all that while playing without two of their best players for chunks of time: Cornerback Fred Smoot returned Sunday after missing four games, and defensive tackle Kevin Williams has missed the past two games.

    The one player the entire defense has taken its personality from is Pat Williams, the 6-3, 317-pound tackle who was a free-agent addition from Buffalo. He was brought in to be a run stuffer; he understands that role, and he has embraced it. This guy has manhandled centers, been a disruptive force and kept opponents from sustaining any kind of consistent running game. To a man, the defensive players say Williams is the reason -- the big reason -- for the unit's turnaround.

    Now, the Vikings need to pick it up on offense. They have a lot of playmakers in the passing game -- Johnson has five good receivers, any of whom could be a go-to-guy -- but running backs Mewelde Moore, Michael Bennett and Ciatrick Fason have struggled. None is big enough to be a feature back, and they all have been nicked up. That's keeping the offense from sustaining drives and scoring consistently.

    After the boat incident, it would have been easy for this team to completely unravel. But Mike Tice has done a great job of keeping it together. He never has wavered in his belief in the players, and they are playing just as hard for him as they are for their own jobs.

    A few weeks ago, the Vikings looked like a sinking ship. Now, they have a chance to sail into the postseason.
    We're bringing purple back.

  2. #2
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    Re: 'D' keeps Vikings sailing along

    Nice. I credit the team as a whole for steppin up and not giving up. We lost alot of Key Players this year to injurie...but we strive on.

    Theres NOTHING greater then a Florida Gator!
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    "I am not surprised"."-PurplePackerEater

  3. #3
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    Re: 'D' keeps Vikings sailing along

    I completely agree with this article. The defense HAS made it a season for us. But why now? The reason is because of Brad Johnson and the offense. If you look at our first games with Culpepper (I love Pep to death) the offese would just turn over the ball and turn over the ball, never giving our defense a good rest so we were always battling from behind, putting a ton of pressure on our D. Now with Johnson taking the snaps, we're making better decisions on offense and not turning over the ball.
    Is Brad Johnson gonna light up the scorboard? No, but he's not gonna make the calls we don't want.

    Keep it goin guys!

  4. #4
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    Re: 'D' keeps Vikings sailing along

    They just dicussed this on Monday QuarterBack. Thats the biggest factor in the Defenses play as of late....but I really think the defense needed time to gell and play as a unit as well.

    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

  5. #5
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    Re: 'D' keeps Vikings sailing along

    Absolutly. We had so many new players come into this defense. It's really hard to make a team gel together quickly. I think it just took them this long to do it. I have a feeling things will be different from here on out.

  6. #6
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    Re: 'D' keeps Vikings sailing along

    defense wins championships. everyone knows that. the question is does ours have enoguh to get it done? we will find out against the steelers.
    We're bringing purple back.

  7. #7
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    Re: 'D' keeps Vikings sailing along

    The thing we need to do against Pitt is get pressure on Big Ben. If you watch the last few games of his after being injured, he's been making bad decisions under pressure. If we were smart we'd be blitzing our butts off in this game and force him to make a bad choice. As for the running game? The bus is a north/south runner. The Williams boys will take care of that.

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