Daily Chat: Defensive Scoring
I started hosting the #VikingsChat Twitter chat on Saturdays as an experiment. Because I’m one of them, I knew there are a ton of fans on Twitter talking about the Vikings so the audience is definitely there.
But I should have known that in this age of DVRs and iPods and time-shifting content, creating a conversation for which you must show up at a time certain every week would be tough.
Though #VikingsChat weekly Twitter chats started out strong, they’ve haven’t stayed that way, in part, I think, due to the fact that the Gophers play on Satudays and due to the lack of a critical mass of people to ensure enough participants each week.
The weekly chats were an interesting experiment but I’m going to suspend them for now, at least until I think there’s enough critical mass to revive them.
That’s not to say that we still can’t chat on Twitter. Use the #VikingsChat hashtag at any time (most especially, though, during games) to join the conversation.
It’s good to hear Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier‘s goal for the team to score more points on defense, as he told the Pioneer Press‘ Bob Sansevere.
The lack of scoring has been one of the most frustrating things about the Vikings otherwise awesome defense. Some of it has to do with the Vikes just not getting the bounces and breaks that lead to scores but some of it also has to do with the weakness at the safety position the Vikings have suffered during Frazier’s tenure.
Madieu Williams has been the Vikings biggest free agent bust of the Wilf era. (And no, I’m not counting Vinny Ciurciu. He wasn’t paid enough to be considered a huge bust. Smart ass.)
Bernard Berrian, for all his faults, gave us one big season. Williams, on the other hand, has consistently given us poor angles and whiffed tackles.
Since 2008, Williams has been accompanied by Darren Sharper (his last year as a Viking…and his least productive) and Tyrell Johnson. Johnson has since fallen below Jamarca Sanford on the depth chart.
You can blame the defensive scheme for the lack of scoring but during the 2007 season, the Vikings defense scored a team-record eight defensive touchdowns. Darren Sharper held down the strong safety position while Dwight Smith played free safety. Each player had four interceptions.
Part of the defensive dominance was certainly the result of Brad Childress‘ “kick ass” offense. Rookie Adrian Peterson did all the work but his supporting cast consisted of quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, receivers Robert Ferguson, Bobby Wade, and Troy Williamson and Visanth(e) Shiancoe‘s first, dismal, year.
With that star-studded lineup, the defense was on the field a lot more and more time on the field leads to more chances to create turnovers.
But part of that success is certainly due to strength at the safety position. Sharper and Smith not only created turnovers themselves but their ability at their positions also created opportunities for everyone else.
With Husain Abdullah now holding down the strong safety position after having never holding a starting position in his career, all we can really ask for is improvement. And that, it appears at least this early in the season, is what we’re getting.
The number of years left on Bernard Berrian‘s contract.
The total number of yards Adrian Peterson gained during his top five performances. During those five games, Peterson carried the rock 128 times for an 8.2 yard average and scored 12 times. Vikings blogger Mike Wobschall has all the details.
The total amount of fines Vikings players collected from the NFL after the Detroit Lions game. Defensive end Ray Edwards was fined $5,000 for roughing the passer and $5,000 for unnecessary roughing during the fight that broke out. Center Ryan Cook was fined $5,000 for the clip he threw.
THE $5,000 FINGER
Lions safety Louis Delmas was fined $5,000 for flipping Vikings fans the bird during last week’s game. That cost him a $5,000 fine, which was leveled by the team not the league. That’s unusual because fines are typically levied by the NFL, not individual teams.
Adrian Peterson won the FedEx Ground player of the week award for his rushing performance against the Lions.
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