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Viking View (12/17/2008)
By John Edstrom

Here come those darn Falcons

...remember them?

Well fans, the Purple faithful finally got what they have been hoping for ever since the signing of Jared Allen was announced, and I am not necessarily talking about a lopsided win over a decent opponent. No, it is a ferocious pass rush that finally has enabled them to neutralize a one-dimensional offense featuring a wily old QB, strong receivers, and making no pretense at all of “establishing the ground game.”

In the past, this has been fail-safe medicine against the Vikes, and the main reason that they have been so strong, statistically at least, against the run. Good QB’s have simply taken a three-step drop, tossed the ball over the middle of the field, and picked 400 yards passing and the easy victory.

Sunday, however, a stout pass rush harassed Kurt Warner, sacked him or knocked him down, and nearly rendered him hors de combat. What was Cards Coach Ken Whisenhunt thinking, leaving his aged meal ticket in the game to be whacked around like a piñata in the fourth quarter? And wasn’t it the most wonderful thing to see?

The consistent pressure generated by the Vikes defense was not just the good work of the defensive front four, but a judicious use of blitzes and different looks put in by defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. The bad news here is that someone is likely to nab him for a head coaching position next year.

Oh well, we’ll just have to be happy with our early Christmas gift, a Tarvaris Jackson who is actually performing at QB as promised before bombing in the early season. He has thrown the touch passes, gunned the ball accurately through keyholes, and connected downfield, making good decisions in timely fashion. This offense seems finally able to not just pound the ball, but to take advantage of that ability by passing over a defense crowding the line of scrimmage. Watching the Purple get ahead, and then play keep away against one of the best offenses in the league was pure joy.

Joy such as I haven’t felt since just before Gary Anderson missed his first field goal of the season against the Falcons in the NFL championship game back in the year 1998.

So fasten your seat belts next week against these same Falcons. They are a great rushing team, and we just got the bad news about the bigger half of the wall, so lately rescued from suspension by the league Scrooges.

Talk back! Tell us what you think of this year’s teams. What would you do if you were in charge?

Go to winonapost.com, click on Football Forum to discuss this year’s season.



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