North Coast Defense?

Fans who think Bill Walsh and his legacy have become a little too large over the years can take heart -- the Vikings have found the answer to the West Coast Offense.

The term West Coast Offense permeates the NFL. Seeing as 40 percent of the league uses some form of the WCO as its base offense, if you see it once during the year, you're just as likely to see it five or six times or more.

The Vikings may be ready to add a new term to the NFL lexicon -- the North Coast Defense. After the game Sunday, Mike Tice was asked if he thought the Vikings had played as complete a game as they had all season. His response? We know how to defend the West Coast Offense.

If you look back through the season, you would see that isn't just a brash statement. In the first Green Bay game, the Vikings dominated most of the game and forced Brett Favre into turnovers. The team then hammered San Francisco -- the originator of the WCO -- and whipped Detroit twice, where Steve Mariucci runs his own version of the offense.

Tice refused to include the second Packers game as part of his analysis because he said the team went away from its own WCO principles in that game. But, even if you do include them, the Vikings are 5-1 against teams running the West Coast Offense.

Let's hear it for the North Coast Defense and, if a date with the Eagles in the playoffs is in the offing, don't give up hope just yet.

* The Vikings dominated both lines of scrimmage Sunday, holding the ball on offense for a whopping 39 minutes of the game.
* Two of the three touchdowns of 43, 45 and 47 yards thrown by Daunte Culpepper were audibles out of runs. The Seahawks had two starting linebackers out with injuries and, when the safeties pinched up to stop the run, the Vikings burned them deep on play changes.
* Shaun Alexander, who killed the Vikings with five first-half touchdowns and more than 200 yards of total offense -- almost all in the first half -- last year, was held to 56 yards on 14 carries.
* Mike Holmgren has a 1-7 career record at the Metrodome.
* Michael Bennett sprained his right ankle Sunday, but told VU he should be go to go next week at Chicago.
* The Vikings will likely get results on an MRI on Moe Williams' injured knee today. He played through the injury Sunday but was hobbled after the game.

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