Once again, the folks at Gillette are sponsoring our look at the top five defensive plays from the Minnesota Vikings' most recent football contest. Unfortunately, we're not going to get a list that long for this one.
On the third play of the Vikings' game against the New Orleans Saints last Sunday, Drew Brees found a wide open Jimmy Graham for an 18-yard gain. However, during the play, safety Jamarca Sanford stripped the ball away from Graham, and rookie safety Mistral Raymond picked the ball up and returned it to the Saints' 26-yard line. That set up a Ryan Longwell field goal, and gave the Vikings an early 3-0 lead.
And you know what? Outside of that, there wasn't one other stinking thing that the Vikings' defense did on Sunday that's worthy of mention, praise, breaking down, or analysis. Not. . .a. . .one. There were no sacks, and in fact I think Brees only got hit one time. There were no interceptions, as the Vikings played their ninth consecutive game without garnering one of those. And there were a ton of points given up. . .again. . .as the Vikings' defense dropped to 32nd in the league in points allowed for the 2011 NFL season.
Did you know that there was a point this season. . .after the Arizona game, in fact. . .that the Vikings had the same number of interceptions as touchdown passes allowed (six of each)? Since then, in their last nine games, the Vikings have allowed the following passing numbers:
198 completions in 270 attempts (73.3% completion rate), 2,447 yards, 25 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
Those numbers equate to a quarterback rating of 131.8. A perfect quarterback rating is 158.3. The Vikings have faced some pretty good quarterbacks over that stretch, but allowing those sorts of numbers to anybody is absolutely ridiculous.