The Vikings new-look defense is off to a great start in 2014. In Friday’s preseason opener against the Raiders, the first team defense was on the field for two series. In that time, the Raiders managed to run just seven offensive plays and gain only five net yards.
I went back and reviewed the film of the defense’s first 27 snaps from Friday night. Below is a series-by-series look at how the defense and some of its individual members fared.
Outcome: Three-and-Out, 1 yard (punt)
Play 1 (1st and 15):
Play 3 (3rd and 9): The Vikings put eight men in the box and rushed five, with safety
Summary: After a false start penalty prior to the first snap, the Raiders were behind in the down-and-distance from the start and wound up calling three passing plays in this series. The Vikings rushed four on the first two snaps and then came with a five-man pressure on 3rd down.
Outcome: 4 plays, 4 yards (punt)
Play 1 (1st and 10): Raiders running back Maurice Jones-Drew took a handoff and cut back to his right. Defensive end
Play 2 (1st and 17): Jones-Drew took a handoff and followed left guard Khalif Barnes through the A gap. Robison crashed to his right with effectiveness and prevented Barnes from getting to the second level to block
Play 3 (2nd and 14): Swing pass to the right to Jones-Drew. Munnerlyn diagnosed and closed well, attacking the outside leg of Jones-Drew. Munnerlyn slipped, but safety
Play 4 (3rd and 6): Oakland was in a trips right formation and the Vikings countered with their nickel package (
Summary: Robison’s play on 1st down is what gave the Vikings an edge in this series. The 15-yard penalty set the Raiders back and allowed the Vikings to keep everything in front of them on 1st and 2nd down. Greenway was solid in coverage on the 3rd-down pass, and had the throw been on target and gotten past Greenway, Price was in position to apply a hit in an attempt to breakup the pass.
Other Notable Plays
-- Anthony Barr and
-- Coleman diagnosed a play-action bootleg on the third play of the third series to contain a completion to just seven yards, forcing a 3rd and 6 on the ensuing down.
-- Griffen drew a holding penalty thanks to an explosive outside move on the next snap, leading to a 3rd and 16 for Oakland.
-- On the 3rd and 16, defensive tackle
-- On the eighth and 11th plays of the fourth series, rookie defensive tackle
-- Coleman intercepted quarterback Derek Carr to end the fourth series.