People are rightfully upset with the Vikings defense this year. It seems the team can only pull off one half of effort per game (or a little less). We're giving up the big play more often this year than last and we can't seem to bottle up offenses forcing them into three and outs. I have to say one thing that might be causing this. Turn overs. Alan Williams talked about how important turn overs were pretty much the entire off season and with this in mind spent quite a bit of time working on them. Now most of us know when you are a high turn over defense you run the risk of the big play happening when your in position to make a play on the ball instead of the receiver. I'm not sure if that's happening or not, but I will say we are getting a ton of turn overs this year. So far we are tied with the Seahawks as having the most turn overs by week three (we are one off of the Bears) That's 6 interceptions and 4 fumble recoveries, last year we had a total of ten ints and sixteen fumbles recovered all year. Now I don't think we'll keep on this pace, but if we did we'd end up the season with about
32 interceptions and 21 fumbles recovered. That would of course be insane. The point I'm trying to make though is Williams is changing a core principle of our defense and it's taking a bit of time to work through.
Now why this is turning out horribly. Turning the ball over on defense helps because it get's it in the offenses hands, gives decent field position (sometimes) and allows defensive touch downs. Problems come into play when the offense can't do anything with the ball. Even more problems arrive when the offense consistantly turns the ball over. Even though we have a very high ten turn overs this year on defense we echo that number on offense which is just a travesty as we are a ground/pound/protect the ball team. Since the defense is taking more risks the offense has to be able to work the ball into points. This is why the 2009 Saints did so well and that Green and Yellow team worked out as well. Both had opportunistic defenses coupled with an offense that could come back from any mistakes.
We have a new defensive mindset and honestly I like it. Many people here have been calling for it for a long time, but just aren't ready to face the consequences that might come with it. Unfortunately our new defensive mindset just doesn't work with our offensive reality. As a ground and pound team led by a QB who at best is unpredictable just can't work back from a mistake.
So what do you all think? Do you like the new defense? Should we go back to the old way since it better suits our offense? Or should we hold the offense more accountable? Or should we keep the defense but put even more into it so we are less likely to give up the big play.