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Thoughts by: Matthew Deery

The Vikings wasted no time this past Sunday showing the St. Louis Rams who the 4-0 team was, and who the 0-4 team was. The Vikings jumped on the scoreboard first with a "methodical and surgical first possession" as Vikings Radio Announcer Paul Allen called it. AP turned on the speed to get the edge on the Ram defense and scored the first touchdown of the game. Then Adrian disappeared for the rest of the game except for another goal line touchdown in the second half.

The Vikings quickly showed their dominant pass rush with Kevin Williams "scaring" Kyle Boller to fumble the football and Jared Allen scooping it up for a 52 yard defensive touchdown. Already 14-0 and the first quarter still has 10 minutes left in it. This, Vikings fans is the perfect recipe for dominant football; touchdowns coming from both sides of the ball.

Well I must say with a 14-0 lead the Vikings defense certainly looked less than impressive as the Rams moved the ball down the field many times against us. Their best drive started from their own 6 was capped off by a fumble from Steven Jackson on the Vikings 1 yard line, without even being so much as coughed on by the defense. This season the Rams have not scored a rushing touchdown, and the Vikings had not given one up. Fits doesn't it?

After the fumble the Vikings moved the ball no where and then Favre topped it off with a classic Favre interception. By that I mean, trying to do too much. Thankfully from the Vikings 25 yard line the Rams were only able to muster a field goal.

After a Favre completion to, well Favre, for minus two yards Ryan Longwell was able to nail a 47 yard field goal. This was all set up by the return from Percy and the horse collar from the Rams.

Next up is more inadequacy from our Vikings defense. This time the Rams started on their own 30 yard line and moved the ball down field with short passes to TE Daniel Fells and a huge screen pass to Steven Jackson. The Rams best player (obviously Jackson) and backup RB Gado moved the ball 38 yards in the next 3 plays putting the Rams on the Minnesota 12. The ensuing play was yet another missed chance for the Rams to score deep in Vikings territory as Fells coughed up the football on the Vikings 6 yard line with E.J. recovering.

Last week I mentioned that in the NFL "sometimes players make plays," and the fumble by Fells is a classic example of that. Chad Greenway caused the fumble by not only tackling Fells, but thrusting his arms around his prey striking the ball to the turf to be recovered. Chad Greenway made a huge play, and has been doing so all season.

The Vikings defense seems to employ the tactic bend, but not breaking (i.e. allowing yards, but not points).

The second half the offense, (cough) I mean Favre, moved the Vikings down the field with passes to all open targets in his range including a great 47 yard catch by Sidney Rice. The passing heavy drive was capped off by another picture perfect 13 yard pass to Visante Shancoe in the back of the end zone.

The Rams then get the ball back and do what? March all the way down the field again with a drive that started on their own 19 and ended with another Rams turnover by Boller throwing a pass into triple coverage in the end zone.

A better football team would have at least scored on two of those three red zone turnovers.

Important things from this game:

Favre doesn't seemed to be slowed down by anything NFL defenses throw at him despite celebrating his 40th birthday this past Saturday. Favre threw his 9th touchdown pass in 5 games this season. His use of all his offensive weapons cannot make it easy for opposing defenses to try and stop any facet of the Vikings unit.

Adrian Peterson looked less than Superman for the 3rd straight week. The first two less than par games were against tough 3-4 defenses, but this week was against the Rams. The Rams! Adrian? How can you not dominate the Rams, the 9th worst defense in the NFL? Though AP scored twice (that's fantasy success) anyone watching the game could clearly see Adrian was struggling to move the ball with only 69 rushing yards. He had some highlight runs, but the overall body of work was not typical "All Day."

Tyrell Johnson seems to be settling into his role on defense. He grabbed his first pick this week by changing his coverage to the underneath route in the end zone causing him to be in the right spot for the INT. He is also right in the middle of the pack with 22 total tackles on the Vikings defensive unit (EJ leads with 41).

The defense continues to allow huge chunks of yardage to every team we play, and even against Kyle Boller! Though they have been holding their own on the goal line this scenario cannot always work in the Vikings favor. The Packers proved that last week by putting points on the board in Vikings territory. Last week I wrote of the same thing. Opposing teams cannot help but realize the vulnerable nature of our zone defense, and our susceptibility to give up large portions of yards from short yardage passes and screens.

The Ravens this week will not only pose a challenge to our offense and AP with yet another 3-4 (undoubtedly the best 3-4 in the NFL), but the Ravens offense features just as many weapons as the Vikings. The Minnesota defense will have their own problems with wide outs that can stretch the field, a quarterback who can bomb it out to them, two pounding running backs that work for their yards, and add in Ray Rice being dynamite in the...yep, the screen game. Despite the Packers being a solid team, this will be our undefeated Vikings first real test.

Interesting Stats:

The Vikings have the best turnover ratio in the NFL at +8, we are tied for 29th (also the best) in the NFL with only 4 total turnovers.

We are 28th in the NFL for total penalties; also an important stat because teams that are heavily penalized destroy momentum and big plays.

The Vikings are 1st in total points with 156

The Vikings rush defense is ranked 10th currently, which is 9 spots higher than most Minnesota fans are used to (but I'll take 5-0).


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