Game Day Turning Point
What the Vikings are looking for this season in defense of their NFC Central title isn't big offense — they know those plays will come — but solid defensive plays that break up drives and don't put the pressure on the offense to score on every play.
Last year, the Vikings defense was among the worst in the league in creating turnovers and getting pressure on the quarterbacks, but that wasn't the case versus the Saints, and it created the turning point in the preseason opener.
The Saints were marching on their first drive before a sack by Fernando Smith halted it in its tracks and forced a punt, which the Vikings offense would turn into a quick 7-0 lead.
After the teams exchanged touchdowns, sacks by Shawn Worthen and Lance Johnstone quickly ended the next Saints drive. With the defensive line creating pressure, turnovers or near turnovers would follow.
The Saints' next drive came to a stop when defensive pressure forced Jeff Blake to fumble the ball. Although the Saints recovered the loose ball, it ended the drive and gave the Vikings renewed enthusiasm.
With the offense unable to take advantage of the strong defensive effort, the D came up with the game-tilting play — an interception by Craig Sauer on a pass over the middle that gave the Vikings the ball in Saints territory. The pick set up the Vikings in "go for the throat" mode and the team responded with a touchdown drive that gave the Vikings a 21-7 lead that would never get closer than a touchdown from that point on.
There are still many questions that need to be answered for the Vikings defense — one game does not a season make — but the thing that was the most lacking last season was in evidence on Saturday. The Vikings created defensive pressure on the quarterback — getting seven sacks and forcing the Saints to force passes because of the heat and, when that happens, interceptions follow. For those reasons, the Vikings defense played above expectations and created the turning point of the game. VU
Viking Update Top Stories
Show me the (Super Bowl) money!There is considerable debate as to the extent of the economic impact a Super Bowl has on a city, but much of the money the State of Minnesota invested in U.S. Bank Stadium will re…
Viking Update5:10 AM
Teammates call it strange if A.P. isn’t backTeammates of Adrian Peterson acknowledge it is a possibility that he won’t return to the Minnesota Vikings in 2017, but they say it would be strange without him and talk about his…
Viking UpdateYesterday at 10:17 AM
Report: Vikings to hire RBs coachThe Minnesota Vikings have reportedly hired a running backs coach and it may be working toward filling their quarterbacks-coach position.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 8:19 AM
(Not so) happy anniversaryTuesday is a day that any longtime Vikings fan will remember with a heavy heart. In its own way, it was tantamount to a death in the family - a grim reminder that not all…
Viking UpdateSunday at 10:37 PM