Vikings victory started with the ends

Jared Allen and Brian Robison combined for a dominating defensive performance Sunday, applying constant pressure and being rewarded with the sacks to prove it.

While Adrian Peterson reaped the benefits, it was the Vikings defense that wreaked havoc.

Peterson scored three touchdowns in the first quarter, but he was put in that situation often because of a stellar defensive effort by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Much of the credit can go to the defensive line.

Defensive ends Jared Allen and Brian Robison stood out among a crowd of pressure, batted down passes, tackles for losses and interceptions.

"We challenged our defensive line and our offensive line during the week to really step up and Jared is having a really unbelievable year and so is B-Rob [Robison]. He is not taking a back seat to anybody in our league," head coach Leslie Frazier. "He is playing lights out football and just makes our defense and our team so much better when you have two defensive ends that play the way they're playing. They are playing at a high level and they're really setting the tone for our defense."

Robison and Allen were right next to each in the defensive stats, filling up the columns that told the story of their impressive afternoon. Each had four tackles and two sacks. Robison added a tackle-for-loss, another quarterback hurry and forced a fumble. Allen registered two tackles-for-loss, three quarterback hurries, a pass defensed and recovered the fumble that Robison caused on QB Kevin Kolb.

"They tried to chip with backs coming out of the backfield with Jared and then they went to my side. The main thing was we stopped the run and we put them in passing situations to where they had to throw the ball," Robison said.

"We knew they were going to come in here and pound the ball. They tried to a little bit. We were able to stop the run and put them in passing situations."

The effort up front helped lead to a big day of turnovers for the defense. Kolb threw three interceptions, lost the ball on Robison's strip and Allen's recovery, and never looked comfortable.

"When you get pressure like that, you can go out there on just one foot and play like that," said cornerback Asher Allen, who had one of the interceptions. "Guys are out there and the quarterback has no time to throw it, he's running around and that gives us a lot of confidence. This defense has been playing like this all year, finally we just put it together for four quarters."

The defensive effort was largely responsible for the offensive success. Three of the Vikings' first four drives started inside the Arizona 30-yard line. After winning the battle of field position to start the game, a 23-yard punt return set up the offense on the Arizona 18-yard line for the first touchdown.

The first interception and then the fumble recovery put the Vikings on the 24- and 25-yard lines to start their next possessions, and they capitalized with touchdowns on each of them.

"I gotta give those guys an A-plus. They did a great job of handing us good field position on several occasions," running back Adrian Peterson said. "We were able to capitalize off of that. You know, that's big in the NFL, field position. Those guys did a good job of doing that, made big plays to put the ball back in our hands. They gave the offense the opportunity to create more drives, to run that clock out, especially in the second half, to put points up there."

The combination of Allen and Robison on the outside led the charge. Allen already has 8.5 sacks through five games, putting him on pace for an NFL-record 27 for the season. Robison has proved to be a good complement, registered 4.5 sacks in five games, putting him on a pace for 14.5 for the season.

Both Robison and Allen were injured late in the third quarter. Allen was poked in the eye while closing in on Kolb and Robison suffered an abdominal injury.

"It cost me a sack. I just saw a white flash. It felt like a finger poking my brain," Allen said. "It opened up, but it will be alright. The bleeding was probably the biggest part of it."

Robison said he just "fell the wrong way" and strained something in his abdominal area.

"I dove for the quarterback, got up, and it felt like somebody shot me in the gut," he said.

Both players returned to action after being examined on the sidelines.

STATS NOTES

A few stats of note from the Elias Sports Bureau:

  • The Vikings' first-quarter turnovers helped Peterson score touchdowns just 23 seconds apart, becoming the first player since Emmitt Smith in 1999 to score a pair of touchdowns that quickly.

  • The Vikings' 28-0 lead made them only the fifth winless team with four or more losses in NFL history to score at least 28 points before their opponent scored. The last team to do that was the 1987 New York Giants. The 1962 Vikings also did that when they took a 31-0 lead over the L.A. Rams after a 0-5 start, the only time the Vikings have been 0-5.

  • The battle of the Eagles QB castoffs turned into bad performances by both. Neither Kolb nor Donovan McNabb threw a touchdown pass, which was also true the last time two former Eagles QBs – Sonny Juergensen (Redskins) and Norm Snead (Giants) – started against each other in 1973.

  • McNabb did score a rushing touchdown, giving the Vikings four rushing touchdowns in one quarter, the first team to do that since the New York Jets in 1968.


    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.



  • Viking Update Top Stories

    \r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"While Adrian Peterson reaped the benefits, it was the Vikings defense that wreaked havoc. Peterson scored three touchdowns in the first quarter, but he was put in that situation often because of a stellar defensive effort by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Much of the credit can go to the defensive line. Defensive ends Jared Allen and Brian Robison stood out among a crowd of pressure, batted down passes, tackles for losses and interceptions. \"We challenged our defensive line and our offensive line during the week to really step up and Jared is having a really unbelievable year and so is B-Rob [Robison]. He is not taking a back seat to anybody in our league,\" head coach Leslie Frazier. \"He is playing lights out football and just makes our defense and our team so much better when you have two defensive ends that play the way they're playing. They are playing at a high level and they're really setting the tone for our defense.\" Robison and Allen were right next to each in the defensive stats, filling up the columns that told the story of their impressive afternoon. Each had four tackles and two sacks. Robison added a tackle-for-loss, another quarterback hurry and forced a fumble. Allen registered two tackles-for-loss, three quarterback hurries, a pass defensed and recovered the fumble that Robison caused on QB Kevin Kolb. \"They tried to chip with backs coming out of the backfield with Jared and then they went to my side. The main thing was we stopped the run and we put them in passing situations to where they had to throw the ball,\" Robison said. \"We knew they were going to come in here and pound the ball. They tried to a little bit. We were able to stop the run and put them in passing situations.\" The effort up front helped lead to a big day of turnovers for the defense. Kolb threw three interceptions, lost the ball on Robison's strip and Allen's recovery, and never looked comfortable. \"When you get pressure like that, you can go out there on just one foot and play like that,\" said cornerback Asher Allen, who had one of the interceptions. \"Guys are out there and the quarterback has no time to throw it, he's running around and that gives us a lot of confidence. This defense has been playing like this all year, finally we just put it together for four quarters.\" The defensive effort was largely responsible for the offensive success. Three of the Vikings' first four drives started inside the Arizona 30-yard line. After winning the battle of field position to start the game, a 23-yard punt return set up the offense on the Arizona 18-yard line for the first touchdown. The first interception and then the fumble recovery put the Vikings on the 24- and 25-yard lines to start their next possessions, and they capitalized with touchdowns on each of them. \"I gotta give those guys an A-plus. They did a great job of handing us good field position on several occasions,\" running back Adrian Peterson said. \"We were able to capitalize off of that. You know, that's big in the NFL, field position. Those guys did a good job of doing that, made big plays to put the ball back in our hands. They gave the offense the opportunity to create more drives, to run that clock out, especially in the second half, to put points up there.\" The combination of Allen and Robison on the outside led the charge. Allen already has 8.5 sacks through five games, putting him on pace for an NFL-record 27 for the season. Robison has proved to be a good complement, registered 4.5 sacks in five games, putting him on a pace for 14.5 for the season. Both Robison and Allen were injured late in the third quarter. Allen was poked in the eye while closing in on Kolb and Robison suffered an abdominal injury. \"It cost me a sack. I just saw a white flash. It felt like a finger poking my brain,\" Allen said. \"It opened up, but it will be alright. The bleeding was probably the biggest part of it.\" Robison said he just \"fell the wrong way\" and strained something in his abdominal area. \"I dove for the quarterback, got up, and it felt like somebody shot me in the gut,\" he said. Both players returned to action after being examined on the sidelines. A few stats of note from the Elias Sports Bureau:
  • The Vikings' first-quarter turnovers helped Peterson score touchdowns just 23 seconds apart, becoming the first player since Emmitt Smith in 1999 to score a pair of touchdowns that quickly.
  • The Vikings' 28-0 lead made them only the fifth winless team with four or more losses in NFL history to score at least 28 points before their opponent scored. The last team to do that was the 1987 New York Giants. The 1962 Vikings also did that when they took a 31-0 lead over the L.A. Rams after a 0-5 start, the only time the Vikings have been 0-5.
  • The battle of the Eagles QB castoffs turned into bad performances by both. Neither Kolb nor Donovan McNabb threw a touchdown pass, which was also true the last time two former Eagles QBs – Sonny Juergensen (Redskins) and Norm Snead (Giants) – started against each other in 1973.
  • McNabb did score a rushing touchdown, giving the Vikings four rushing touchdowns in one quarter, the first team to do that since the New York Jets in 1968.
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