Linval Joseph has had enough of looking back at back-breaking 72-yard touchdown run by Ronnie Hillman against the Denver Broncos in Week 4. Joseph would rather look forward to the Kansas City Chiefs game this Sunday.
“I want to move on. Chiefs. I talked about this all last week,” Joseph said Monday. “Right now, it’s about the Chiefs, Kansas City, and we have to stop their running attack. They run the ball a lot and right now if we stop the run and force the quarterback to throw, good things will happen for us.”
It’s completely understandable that the Minnesota Vikings’ big run-stuffing nose tackle would want to be done discussing the team’s biggest defensive run gaffe of the season. Not only was the 24-hour rule about living in the past expired, it was more like the 14-day rule when asked about Hillman’s touchdown earlier this week.
But there is also reason to look forward to the Chiefs game because Kansas City will be without their most dangerous offensive threat, Jamaal Charles, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament on Sunday and is done for the season.
Charles not only led the Chiefs with 364 yards rushing on 71 carries this year, those numbers accounted for more than half of their rushing production. Charles is also Kansas City’s third-most productive player in the passing game with 21 catches for 177 yards. All total, he accounted for five of the 10 touchdowns the Chiefs have scored on offense.
“He’s a great running back, but we still have to play the scheme as well,” Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks said. “Andy Reid is a great coach and the West Coast style. It’s about what we do on defense; it’s not about who we (face) on offense.”
Joseph still expects the Chiefs to run the ball, or at least try, but their production other than Charles has been minimal.
“We’ll have to find out on Sunday. They’re still a run-first team and they have other weapons and threats,” Joseph said. “Right now, we have to prepare to stop the run and make Alex Smith throw the ball.”
The Chiefs likely will look to have a combination of Knile Davis and Charcandrick West splitting the backfield workload. They have just 75 rushing yards combined.
“Last year, he had a good, explosive year,” Joseph said of Davis, who is averaging only 2.5 yards on 11 carries. “I watched him do some big returns, and when Jamaal Charles wasn’t in the game he had a good impact. He’s a very good running back. First of all, we have to stop the run … and get some turnovers.”
Expect Vikings defenders to learn more about Davis in the coming days, but on Monday, Kendricks, a rookie, knew very little.
“Not too much,” Kendricks said when asked about what he knew about Davis, but … “Honestly, I didn’t know too much about Jamaal Charles to be honest with you. I just watch film. I’m new to this league. It’s all new to me, but I know for a fact that everyone can play. It doesn’t matter.”
It does for the Chiefs.