Defense Not Concerned With Records

The Vikings' run defense continues to shut down offenses and put up 45-year league lows, but the defenders aren't concerning themselves with any pending records.

The Vikings run defense is on pace to become one of the best in NFL history.

After giving up minus-3 yards to the Lions in Sunday's 30-20 victory, the Vikings are allowing an average of 54.1 rushing yards per game. That figure would place the Vikings second in NFL history for the lowest average of rushing yards yielded per game.

The Lions' total marked the second time the Vikings came out of a game thinking they had given up minus-3 yards on the ground. The first time was in a Nov. 19 loss at Miami. However, the day after that game, the Elias Sports Bureau changed the total to plus-4 yards after reviewing the film.

There are no such changes expected this time around, meaning the Vikings will have held a team to the lowest rushing total in a game since Oct. 29, 1961. In that game, Washington held Philadelphia to minus-12 rushing yards.

Defensive tackle Kevin Williams made it clear the Vikings are not focused on setting any records.

"We're the No. 1 run defense now, so we want to keep it that way until the end of the season," he said. "But it's nothing we just sit back and, ‘Oh, we need this many yards to set a record.' When you go doing that, that's when the plays get away from you, and it's something that then you're really pressing to try to do it. As far as the defense, no we haven't paid any attention to it."

A key reason for the Vikings' dominance is nose tackle Pat Williams, who should get the nod for a Pro Bowl berth after being passed over last season. Coach Brad Childress calls Williams "a dominant force," and also praises the play of Kevin Williams.

"You don't run the ball inside very often or very easily against our defense, and really those two guys take care of that," Childress said. "I would tell you that the linebackers are playing at a nice level behind them. That run defense is driven by the front seven and safeties with great fits. So it's 11 guys."


  • QB Brad Johnson started against Detroit after a week of talk that maybe rookie Tarvaris Jackson should be the guy. Johnson was asked about what last week was like for him, especially in light of the fact that he never got the public support of coach Brad Childress. "I don't live with a rearview mirror, and I move on," Johnson said. "I've been associated with a lot of good in this league, I've dealt with some bad. I know it comes with the territory as far as being a quarterback. That's just the deal, it's what you sign up for. That's what makes it so great, and that's why there are only 32 starting jobs in the league, and that's why I've been fortunate enough to play 15 years. I feel very blessed every time I step on that field regardless."

  • RB Chester Taylor is from Detroit, and he bought tickets for about 35 family members and friends for Sunday's game. The problem was Taylor ended up being inactive because of bruised ribs suffered the previous week at Chicago. "It was really tough," Taylor said. "I happened to have a lot of people in my family here, and not being able to go out there and play ... but they understand. They are still behind me, and hope I get better."

  • Taylor said he would be able to return for this week's game against the Jets. "We'll see how he comes out on Wednesday, and we'll see what he's able to tolerate with that rib injury," coach Brad Childress said.

  • QB Brooks Bollinger was in uniform as the third "emergency" quarterback Sunday after suffering a separated left (non-throwing) shoulder the week before at Chicago It's unclear if Bollinger will be able to return to the backup role against the Jets.

  • CB Cedric Griffin experienced back spasms before Sunday's game at Detroit but was able to play. He finished with an interception and a forced fumble, and he recovered a fumble.

  • RG Artis Hicks returned as the starter Sunday after missing two games because of a sprained left ankle. Jason Whittle had replaced Hicks. "He did good," coach Brad Childress said of Hicks. "Not perfect, but he did a good job for first game back with a big ankle sprain."

  • RT Marcus Johnson has recovered from a sprained left ankle but was inactive Sunday. He has been benched in favor of Mike Rosenthal and Ryan Cook.

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