Vikings look to the defense to get back on the winning track against the Cardinals at Mall of America Field this Sunday.
The Vikings defense, which is coming off a lackluster performance in Washington, will look to get back into sacking form this Sunday against a questionable Cardinals offensive line. The underperforming Cardinals offensive line is what led to a quarterback change in Arizona. Last week, QB Kevin Kolb was sacked and injured his ribs in their 19-16 overtime loss to the Buffalo Bills. John Skelton, Arizona’s number one starter, is returning from an ankle injury and taking over the helm. The Cardinals have allowed a league-worst 28 sacks, 22 of which have come in the last three games.
The Vikings, who currently have 15 sacks on the season which is good for 11th best in the NFL, will look to pass rushing expert Jared Allen to make a big statement. Allen has 26 sacks since the start of last season and four in his last four games.
On whether or not the Vikings defense would be changing their typical game plan to attack more on a weak Cardinals offensive line, defensive coordinator Alan Williams:
“We focus on what we do best and we want to make sure that we just lock in on what our guys do best, that we allow Jared [Allen], we allow Everson [Griffen], the guys up front, Brian [Robison], we want those guys to be able to do what they do, rush, and not try to do anything spectacular and not do anything really different,” said Williams. “We want to focus on what we do and make the offense adjust.”
On the offensive side of the ball, Christian Ponder looks to bounce back from a less-than-stellar matchup in Washington where he threw two interceptions, including a pick six to former Viking Madieu Williams. Ponder, who hadn’t thrown a pick until week five, seemed unsteady last week in Washington despite throwing for 352 yards and two touchdowns.
Head coach Leslie Frazier was asked Thursday about Ponder’s performance last Sunday and whether or not Ponder could rebound.
“He did a good job of completing a bunch of passes,” said Frazier. “We don’t like the turnovers, nobody does. For the most part this year, he’s done a good job of taking care of the football so we want to get back in that style of play starting with this week.”