Vikings Change Philosophies In Two Packer Matchups

On offense, the Vikings changed the way they protected against Green Bay's top pass rusher between the first meeting and second meeting of the two teams during the regular season. On defense, the Vikings also changed the way they attacked the Packers' passing game.

Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila is coming off a four-sack outing in Chicago nine days after being almost completely neutralized by Vikings tackles Bryant McKinnie and Adam Goldberg.

The Vikings double-teamed "KGB" on 37.1% of dropbacks in the first meeting and then 52.9% in the second. He had two sacks and four hurries Nov. 14 but not a single pressure in the rematch.

Goldberg, a free agent from Wyoming, became a starter in Week 12 when rookie Nat Dorsey was benched. In Washington, Goldberg was removed early in the fourth quarter in favor of Dorsey after drawing his third penalty.


MOUNTING A RUSH-FOR-MORE

Vikings defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell rushed five or more on 32.1% of the Packers' dropbacks in Week 9. Cottrell trimmed his blitzing to 15.9% in Week 15.

"They played it a little bit differently," quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell said. "They played more conservative. They played a lot of zone out of two safeties and Cover 2 and stayed back."

When the Vikings kept double-covering Javon Walker, Donald Driver had a field day on underneath routes. In the two games, Driver had 14 catches for 190 yards whereas Walker was 8-164.

Bubba Franks caught a 17-yard touchdown pass on a corner route in Week 9 when the Vikings had just 10 men on the field. He scored on a 22-yard seam route in Week 15.

Running back Ahman Green, with two, was the only Packer with a dropped pass in the two games.



TOP OF THEIR PASS RUSH

The Packers registered nine sacks in Chicago last weekend, tying the club record set against Dallas in 1965 and against San Francisco in 1998. It took the Packers just 3.09 seconds on average for each sack against the Bears. Eight of the sacks came on four-man rushes and one came on a six-man rush. LT Marc Columbo gave up all four to Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila.


QUOTE TO NOTE

"Basically, it's none of their damn business. They work when I say work."
— Coach Mike Sherman on not telling players how much they'd play before the meaningless finale in Chicago.




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