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Vikings Defense Has Turned Heads Around The NFL

The Vikings have opened plenty of eyes and turned many heads with their 5-0 start.

Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report recently wrote that he counts himself as a believer now that Minnesota is the lone unbeaten team left in the league.

Freeman said the Vikings defense, which is allowing a league-low 12.6 points per game, has made a statement through five games.

Freeman wrote:

Not only are the Vikings able to skillfully disguise their blitzes, which is something many defenses can do, they also can match any counterattacks with pure speed. Once you figure out what their disguise is, the Vikings have blown your doors off.

And it hasn't been only the less-accomplished (i.e., awful) quarterbacks who have suffered but the world-class signal-callers like Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton, too. That's yet another mark of a great defense: it destroys everyone. No mercy.

Historic defenses often end the season by hoisting a Lombardi Trophy. It's like a period at the end of a championship sentence.* *

Besides leading the league in points allowed per game, Minnesota is first in yards allowed per play (4.4) and tied for first with 12 takeaways.

Johnson, Griffen confused Texans on third-quarter sack

Vikings defensive tackle Tom Johnson picked up his second sack of the season Sunday against the Texans.

The stunt play, in which two linemen crossed over each other, came with Minnesota up 24-6 in the third quarter in an eventual 31-13 win.

Johnson took Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune through the sequence, which confused Houston's offensive line.

The Vikings loaded up the left side of their defense, leaving Johnson alone in front of the center and defensive end Everson Griffen by himself on the right side.

Johnson explained that when Griffen cut inside and took the tackle with him, he maneuvered outside and got to Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler.

Griffen accelerated toward the inside hand of Texans left tackle Duane Brown, forcing Osweiler to sidestep to the outside. Without other rushers on his side of the center, Brown sticks with Griffen as Johnson slips by for the third-down sack. On the next play, after pressure on consecutive snaps, Osweiler throws a screen on fourth-and-16 for a turnover on downs.

"When the play comes, I'm going to go across his face," Johnson said. "I'm going to bring the center with me, which puts the guard in a situation that he's got to know I'm either going to hit the A gap or the B gap and Everson takes it underneath. He takes his tackle underneath and [the tackle] has to respect that."

Johnson's sack was one of four by the Vikings in Sunday's win. Minnesota is tied with Denver atop the league with 19 team sacks.

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