Vikes poised for playoffs
...but what about the Williams wall?
Well fans, one week after the various pundits put an epitaph on Gus Frerotte’s career and downgraded his offensive line to about a C+, the Vikes came back to gain 178 rushing yards against the tough Bears run defense, and held off their jumbo variety pack of blitzes well enough to allow only two sacks, neither of which resulted from a breakdown in protection. Part of this success was Frerotte uncharacteristically getting the ball to the outlet receiver before a fan could finish a long prayer for his survival.
The Vikes offense totaled 378 yards, evenly split with 200 passing and 178 rushing. Frerotte was 16 for 25 with a long TD to Bernard Berrian and one INT, but you can count that as two TD’s. Tight end Jimmy Kleinsasser, receiving skills so rudely spurned in this very column last week, made as nifty a 20-yard grab down the middle of the field as you’d ever like to see, only to have the TD stolen from him by that myopic mole of a replay ref. This was good enough offense to win any and all of the remaining four games, provided the same Purple defense shows up.
Vikes defensive head Leslie Frazier apparently had a prophetic dream, in which it was revealed to him that the opposing tight ends who have tormented the Purple all season could be stymied by replacing, on passing downs, linebackers with defensive backs Benny Sapp and Tyrell Johnson, and letting all the DB’s play more man coverage. In this manner, natural ruffians like Cedric Griffin are allowed to put the goon on receivers right off the line, rather than forced to perform toe dances in zones.
This was done to such effect that the pass rush, with a step more time, knocked Kyle Orton off his game early. He threw three INT’s after going a record number of attempts without one, and was a mere 11 for 29. Down in Chicago, he had reduced the Minnesota pass defense to child’s play.
Let us ignore the long Viking history of building up their fans’ hopes with this kind of solid victory, only to regress and collapse when destiny beckons. Why not say that this team is coalescing appropriately in the late season, will easily whip the Lions next week, and then cannot fail to stumble to the finish line with at least one more win? Assuming all this, they are a significant threat to penetrate deeply into the playoffs, as the Steelers did a few years ago.
Then, of course, there is the matter of the Williams brothers...
Talk back! Tell us what you think of this year’s teams. What would you do if you were in charge?
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