Vikings still focused on stopping run

Despite facing the highest rated quarterback in the league, Vikings defenders are looking to clean up missed tackles in the running game.

One of the Vikings’ biggest issues in last Sunday’s loss to Chicago was poor tackling. They missed multiple tackles in the game – sometimes one play – and it has become a recurring theme that the team is looking to avoid, especially with running back Eddie Lacy coming to town.

Lacy has struggled this season to get going on the ground after an exceptional rookie season last year. He has been held to 50 yards or less in six of 10 games and has more than 70 rushing yards in just one game – his 105-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Vikings on Oct. 2.

The Vikings had a similar problem containing Lacy as they had with the Bears last week and defensive end Brian Robison said it has to stop.

“It’s one thing if a team is scheming against us and finding weaknesses in our defense,” Robison said. “It’s another when we’re shooting ourselves in the foot and not making tackles and making plays. Lacy is a powerful runner and you have to wrap up guys like that. We had too many sloppy tackles against him the first time we played them and we can’t have that anymore because he doesn’t go down with arm tackles.”

As much as the focus of the attention has been on quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the passing game, it’s the running game that is of concern to the Vikings defense. As dangerous as Rodgers is, if the Packers can establish the ground game, they can pick and choose when they want to run or pass. With an on-field magician like Rodgers, giving him options is the last thing the Vikings want to face because he has the ability and the weapons to carve them up.

“The bottom line with any offense – it doesn’t matter who it is – is that you have to stop the run first and make them one-dimensional,” Robison said. “The first time we played Green Bay, they were able to run a lot on us and gain yardage consistently. They were doing some good things, but we didn’t do our job in stopping them. That’s on us. We have to change that up on Sunday, because you can’t give Rodgers the chance to get comfortable and keep us off-balance with the play calls. We need to stop them on first and second down when they run, put them in bad down-and-distance on third down and get off the field. We had five three-and-outs on them last time we played, but it was the running plays that gained big yards that hurt us. If we can eliminate them, we have a good chance to make the plays we need to win.”

FRIDAY NOTES


  • When the Vikings claimed running back Ben Tate, they had to drop someone from the roster and that player was TE MarQuies Gray. Gray was claimed by the Buffalo Bills Thursday.

  • Gray may have to meet his new teammates in Detroit. With Buffalo buried under as much as six feet of snow in some areas with more expected this weekend, the game between the Bills and Jets has been moved to Detroit, the same location the Vikings and Giants played when the Metrodome roof collapsed in 2010.

  • The Vikings ownership made its pitch to Major League Soccer Thursday in an attempt to land an MLS franchise in the new stadium. The Vikings have a five-year exclusivity option to bring professional soccer to the new stadium.

  • The Vikings got Tate on waivers, but both Indianapolis and Arizona reportedly made a claim on him. Waiver claims are made in order of record from worst to best. Because the Vikings had the worst record of those three teams, they get priority on waiver claims and were able to land Tate.


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