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  1. #1
    thevikingfan's Avatar
    thevikingfan is offline Hall of Famer
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    Dec 1969

    Vikings pose third down challange

    Last week the Bills big challenge was getting third down stops facing the third best team in the league at converting them in the Jets. And for the most part Buffalo's defense got their share of third down stops holding New York to just 4-12 on conversions in the 28-20 loss.

    This Sunday it will be Buffalo's offense that's faced with the big third down test as Minnesota's defense has been effective when it comes to forcing punts and getting off the field.

    The Vikings are holding opponents through the first three weeks to just a 28.6 conversion percentage, seventh lowest in the league. With Buffalo's offense managing just a 27.8 percent success rate in moving the chains it's easy to see the challenge the Bills could be faced with on third downs Sunday.

    Bills head coach Dick Jauron believes the Vikings success on third down stems from the two snaps that come before it.

    "It's a combination of their first and second down defense," said Jauron. "Third down is always going to be a function of first and second. It's hard to convert third and longs. They've done a good job. They pressure well with their front four and they also have a nice pressure package. They've done an outstanding job with their linebackers and their secondary involved in the pressure game."

    "They're good on every down," said Bills quarterback J.P. Losman of Minnesota's defense. "They get teams in trouble and force them to make a third and long. They try to put the pressure on a little bit on third downs, especially on third and short."

    Lee Evans, who has a lot of respect for the Vikings secondary, feels that Minnesota's third down success starts with their two defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams.

    "Their two guys up front are very, very active and they can cause some problems for you with protections," said Evans. "They attack your protections and put pressure on your quarterback. We have to be very sound this week in our protections, and as receivers know what we're seeing on the back end to run the routes accordingly."

    The pressure Minnesota's front has been able to generate has been so consistent that the only big play against them through the first three games was a 24-yard touchdown by Chicago's Rashied Davis last week, which proved to be a game-winning play.

    "We've been doing a lot of pressuring the last couple of games," said Minnesota cornerback Antoine Winfield. "We haven't given up many plays like that one down the seam last week. Our front four and front seven have really been getting after the quarterback, pressuring him and making him make some errant throws, and the secondary is trying to pick some balls off."

    Winfield himself took a Rex Grossman pass the other way for a seven-yard interception return for a touchdown last week, the first of his career.

    "(We're) being disciplined, keeping everything in front of us (and) making tackles," Winfield said. "We've been making plays when we have the opportunity and keeping the games close and winning them at the end."

    That consistent pressure from their front has allowed the Vikings to play a single safety high a good portion of the time often leaving cornerbacks Antoine Winfield and Fred Smoot in man-to-man situations. That could be advantageous for Evans and Peerless Price, but the protection has to hold up for Losman.

    "We've just got to be accurate with the balls, and the receivers are going to have to get off the line and we have to hold up in protection," Losman said. "It's not them it's us executing our plays."

    I am Pretty excited that we are so good (so far) on 3rd down defense currently we are seventh in the league

  2. #2
    Vikes_King's Avatar
    Vikes_King is offline Jersey Retired
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Vikings pose third down challange

    not only have the vikings been good at stopping people third down, we've been doing pretty well at converting ourselves - ecspecially since we've played 2 amazing defenses in carolina & chicago

    "We’ll win our own Super Bowl, with our own players. Real Vikings. Something Brett Favre can never be."

    - Dan Calabrese

  3. #3
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Sep 2005

    Re: Vikings pose third down challange

    This article was already posted in a thread YOU started.

    [size=13pt]Vikings bills preview[/size]

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

  4. #4
    Ltrey33 is offline Jersey Retired
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Vikings pose third down challange

    Haha....that's pretty funny singer.

  5. #5
    ultravikingfan's Avatar
    ultravikingfan is offline Administrator
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    Sep 2004
    NE Ohio

    Re: Vikings pose third down challange

    "singersp" wrote:
    This article was already posted in a thread YOU started.

    [size=13pt]Vikings bills preview[/size]
    Wow...just fricken wow.

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