With the style of play that the Vikings intend to employ this year on both sides of the ball, the focus on offense is precision and short gains – with the occasional bomb thrown in when defenses pack it in. On the defensive side of the ball, the focus is on making the big play. Both of these facets were on display Friday night in the Vikings 30-7 win over Baltimore at the Metrodome and provided the Turning Point of the Game.
The first came in the second quarter as the Ravens looked to answer a 3-0 lead. Starting from his own 29-yard line, quarterback Steve McNair was picking apart the Vikings defense with short passes against a backed-up secondary. McNair was successful at taking the short gains, completing passes of 5, 7 and 10 yards to move the Ravens all the way to the Vikings 32-yard line.
McNair was becoming predictable and the Vikings defense made the adjustment. Looking for a sideline pass to Mark Clayton, cornerback Fred Smoot jumped the route and intercepted the pass. Because he had a running start on a sideline pass, Smoot had clear sailing to the end zone – turning what could have been a 7-3 deficit or, in a best-case scenario, a 3-3 tie into a 10-0 Vikings lead with five minutes to play in the first half.
The second half of the equation came in the opening portion of the fourth quarter. With the Vikings leading 13-7, the Ravens were desperately looking for a stop with the Vikings pinned on their own 11-yard line for their first drive of the fourth quarter. Tarvaris Jackson avoided a three-and-out with a 9-yard scramble on a third-and-7 to move the chains and keep the drive alive.
On the next play, wide receiver Jason Carter put a double-move on a Ravens defender and was wide open down the right sideline. Jackson put the ball on target and Jones was off to the races for a 77-yard touchdown to blow the game open and give the Vikings a 20-7 lead.
Sprinkling in the occasional big play on offense with an opportunistic defense is one of the things coach Brad Childress has been preaching since his arrival in Minnesota. On Friday night, he got both of those to come together to put 14 huge points on the board and create the Turning Point of the Game.
Turning Point: Big Plays Save the Day
Viking Update Top Stories
When good rumors go badAt his Wednesday press conference, Seattle coach Pete Carroll answered a question pertaining to the health issues the Seahawks are having at offensive tackle and, as part of his…
Viking Update4:53 AM
Harrison Smith: No reason for changeThe Minnesota Vikings’ perfect season hit a brick wall Sunday at Philadelphia, but safety Harrison Smith said the panic on the outside of Winter Park isn't being shared on the…
Viking UpdateYesterday at 2:44 PM
Munnerlyn likes Cutler’s risk-taking waysCaptain Munnerlyn likened Jay Cutler to Brett Favre, calling him a “gunslinger,” but Cutler was at his best when he conformed last year.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 7:32 AM
Did Vikings have bounty system?In a new book released recently, the claim is made that the Minnesota Vikings had a bounty system in place at the same time the Saints were eventually swept up in the Bountygate…
Viking UpdateYesterday at 7:25 AM