Defensive line back to high production

The Vikings defense has been coming on strong the last few weeks, and the defensive line has been a major reason for the improvement. Jared Allen is back to his quarterback-pressuring form and Kevin Williams has been playing well.

The Vikings not only made a head coaching change following their 31-3 loss to Green Bay on Nov. 21, they also made a move at defensive coordinator.

When Leslie Frazier became the interim head coach, linebackers coach Fred Pagac took over as the interim defensive coordinator. While Pagac didn't officially get the title, he has been getting the results.

And Frazier couldn't be happier.

The Vikings' defensive line has looked like its old self of late, and end Jared Allen and tackle Kevin Williams again have been dominant. This was especially true in the Vikings' 38-14 victory over Buffalo on Sunday.

Minnesota was credited with only one sack of Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, but the pressure on him was nearly constant, and he was hit at least five times.

Frazier couldn't have been happier with what he saw and is hoping for more when the Vikings play host to the Giants on Sunday.

"I was talking to (defensive line coach) Karl Dunbar about that just because those guys have really stepped it up, and the way we're built on defense is predicated on what we get from our front four," Frazier said. "They're playing like we all expect them to play. ... (It's) a renewed sense of getting it done from our defensive line.

"I don't know if you can pinpoint it to one thing. Particularly just seeing Jared Allen, probably in the last four weeks, just take off and play at a Pro Bowl level consistently. Kevin Williams is doing the same thing now. Add what Brian (Robison) has done stepping in for Ray (Edwards, who is injured) like he did (on Sunday). Just a great job by those guys up front."

Allen had only one sack in the first seven games of the season but has 7.5 in the past five games.

"About three weeks ago I had him in my office and we were watching some tape of him from a year ago," Frazier said. "Just looking at the difference in the way he was coming off the ball and the way he was rushing the quarterback compared to say three to four weeks ago when things weren't going quite like he wanted them to.

"We just looked at some tape and compared from the now to the past. He looked at it and goes, 'Man, I've just got to get back to that.' We talked about some other things, and lo and behold, he is back to that. Guess what? Our defensive play picks up along with that. He's a special player when he's humming like he should."

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