From: Northern Minnesota
ORIGINAL: Bill Johanesen
ORIGINAL: Bruce Johnson
ORIGINAL: David Levine
1. I’m not sure if the Vikings’ defense is fixed, but it seems to be trending that way—Minnesota has held each of its last four opponents under 300 total yards, and it kept the Lions out of the end zone entirely on Sunday. When I talked to captain Harrison Smith after the 24-9 win, he at least intimated that earlier in the year, guys might have been trying to do too much. And now that’s calmed down. “We have a lot of really good players,” Smith said. “We all want to make plays all the time. And sometimes that can hurt you. When you just get back to just saying, ‘OK this is what I gotta do, I’m gonna go do it, and I know the guy next to me is gonna do it, the guy in front of me, he’s gonna do it.’ Then everything takes care of itself. You don't have to be Superman out there.” Smith pointed to Danielle Hunter’s 32-yard return of a Matthew Stafford fumble for a touchdown as a prime example. “That’s guys up front getting off the ball and getting pressure, and guys on the back end, linebackers covering,” Smith said. “And then once he starts scrambling, just everyone running like a madman to the ball. That's when opportunities come. It may looks like luck but there’s another play in the game where Xavier [Rhodes] strips the ball, and we got three other guys swarming to the ball. Unfortunately the ball is just out of bounds, instead of us picking it up and scoring. But we get another chance at that later because everyone is running to the ball. Good things happen when the whole team is running like your hair’s on fire.” The Vikings were my Super Bowl champion in August, by the way. Sunday did make me feel a little better about that.
I don't think its a total coincidence that Sendejo missed all 4 of those games.
Is it as much a factor of Sendejo not playing or is it the emergence of Kearse who may be the best surprise of this football season?
Or maybe due to the caliber of opponent (Jets, Cards, etc)?