The Vikings are not schemed to attack the ball in the air. It is a passive defense.
well, I would also say that it would be based on the talent and skill set of the players. bring in some talent and players who can read a play, add that to the arrent/miss timed throws and you'll have the int # rise. i won't say that we had the talent in place in the backfield/cb to be the ballhawking defence, though look @ gb.. they have some of that back end talent. though.. do you see them doing it now? it's the first qtr of the season.. we'll see how this one plays out, but i've got hopes we're on the rise, maybe this year.. probably next we should see that aggressiveness on the D take it's tolls on the apposing qb's.
I think that will get better with time.
As to the whole "Sacks" discussion. Think about this....50 sacks, equal 50 plays defensively that the DLmen did their job (I bet we would find out that not all 50 are from the DL) . Our opponents were on the field for 1027 plays. 538 of those were passing plays. What was our great DL doing on the other 488 plays?
In the end sacks are a great stat for fans to track but there is alot more to the game than that when it comes to team play.
I still see way too many plays with coverage guys trailing the receiver by two yards or more and plays with three defenders deep and no one under to pick up the ball or challenge the reception.
All teams in the NFL play zone at times, and many play it as a favored defense. No team can go man up all the time and not get worn down. The problem that I see is the difference in aggressiveness in how these schemes are played. The Vikings play soft zones and do not attack the ball. They fear giving up the big play more than they want to make the big play. It is passive.
As far as sacks go, they are nice to get. Sacks can stall a drive or force a punt. They can also be overcome by the offense. An interception not only stops a drive but also often negates the field position advantage of a punt. Sacks are good, picks are great.
The Vikings were NFL leaders in sacks last season and finished 3-13. The Packers defense gave up many yards but were league leaders in turnovers. They finished 15-1. While offensive differences were there as well, one has to take the turnovers into account.
In the last 8 years of running the cover 2... our Dbs fail to intecept the ball or break up a considerate amount of passes. Check the stats... the fact remains what ever we are doing in the cover 2 its not what CHI is doing. I believe its because we play an 4-3 over base and they do not (don't watch enough of their games to check on gaps each defender is hitting).
Not only are the Bears more aggressive when it comes to INT's than the Vikings, but they're also more aggressive when it comes to ripping at the ball. On almost every tackle in the Cowboys game, there was a Bear ripping or punching at the ball. The Packers are the same way, someone on their defense is always ripping at the ball carrier and that has everything to do with coaching.
You don't ever see our defense going for the ball and I don't understand why. Especially when the ball carrier is wrapped up, the 2nd or 3rd guy on the pile never takes a swipe at the ball. It's frustrating because you know turnover differential is almost the most important stat in football, yet we have a defense that almost seems indifferent about takeaways.
Hopefully our defense is finally gaining some confidence and maybe that will translate into a more aggressive ball-hawking defense down the road. We have certainly gotten more aggressive in the hits department the past 2 games and more so vs Detroit and that's an encouraging sign.