The Minnesota Vikings allowed 16 points in their Week 1 win over the Tennessee Titans.
It remains their worst defensive performance of the season.
Indeed, the Vikings have allowed just 47 points in their last four games – 11.8 points per game – and, at 5-0, are the last remaining unbeaten in the NFL.
“What they want to do is to put you in a phone booth and put you in a bag and beat you like a pinata, and then when you get to the second half, you got nothing left to fight,” NFL analyst Bart Scott said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “You see guys making business decisions. I see the same thing with them that I used to see with my 2005-06 Ravens.”
In other words, a fairly lengthy pregame injury report. Some guys simply didn’t want to suit up against the Ravens. Other guys would, but they wouldn’t last four quarters.
“You’d watch guys tap out, and you see that with the Vikings,” Scott said. “You see Cam Newton get beat down for eight sacks. You see Aaron Rodgers get beat down for five sacks. You see Eli scared straight. He didn’t even want to put his back foot in the ground. He just threw the ball into the dirt. He didn’t care. They were down and trying to make a comeback, and he’s still throwing check-downs because he didn’t want to take that punishment.”
Minnesota beat Houston 31-13 on Sunday. The Vikings led 24-0 midway through the second quarter and were on cruise control thereafter. Sam Bradford threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns, while the defense limited the Texans to 214 yards of total offense.
Xavier Rhodes, Harrison Smith, Everson Griffen and Andrew Sendejo, among others, were all stellar.
“They’re deep at every position,” Scott said. “This is a defensive team now. It used to be Adrian Peterson’s team. The dominant force on this team is the defense and their ability to make you one-dimensional. . . . They’re the new team in that division, not the Green Bay Packers. The Green Bay Packers are playing for second place, believe me.”
The Vikings, who have a Week 6 bye, play their next two games on the road: at Philadelphia (3-1) on Oct. 23 and at Chicago (1-4) on Oct. 31.