Alrighty, then. . .now that we're settled back in and all that other good stuff, it's time to do our weekly look back at the Vikings' top five defensive plays from last week's game against the Denver Broncos.
The first one was the Vikings' first defensive play of the game, and one that I thought. . .well, hoped. . .would set a tone for the rest of the afternoon.
After a beautiful punt by Chris Kluwe started the Broncos out inside the 1-yard line, they tried to hand the ball to Willis McGahee to give themselves some space, but the Vikings had other ideas. Jared Allen got credit for the safety, which allowed him to tie an NFL record for safeties in a career with four, but a big portion of the credit has to go to the big hosses in the middle, Remi Ayodele and Kevin Williams. They pretty much blew the play up on the inside, causing McGahee to hesitate, and allowing Allen to clean up the mess.
Jared Allen was responsible for the Vikings' second-biggest defensive play of the day as well. With just 47 seconds left in the first half, the Broncos had a 2nd-and-2 at their own 28, and Tim Tebow dropped back to pass. Allen came storming into the backfield to chase Tebow down, and tripped Tebow up. It appeared that Tebow tried to use his left hand. . .which had the football in it. . .to regain his balance, but wound up leaving the ball on the turf. Allen scooped up the fumble on the strip/sack, and that allowed the Vikings to add another field goal before the end of the half to give themselves a 15-7 halftime lead.
Three other big defensive plays from the Vikings defense during the game. . .and there weren't many. . .
Cedric Griffin forcing a McGahee fumble on the first play of a Denver drive late in the first quarter. This was the first of two successful challenges by Leslie Frazier on the day, and led to a Ryan Longwell field goal from 40 yards out for the Vikings.
-Remi Ayodele, who has been ridiculously invisible for most of the year, registering a huge sack on Tebow late in the second quarter. This happened after the Vikings took the lead on a Christian Ponder to Kyle Rudolph touchdown pass, and kept the momentum in the Vikings' corner.
-On the drive that saw the Broncos tie the game, Benny Sapp actually came up pretty big on a play that stopped McGahee for a 4-yard loss on 2nd-and-6 from the Vikings' 24 right after the two-minute warning. With the way the Broncos' offense was rolling at the time, it helped to hold Denver to a field goal, which looked like a huge plus at the time. I suppose it was. . .the plus just didn't last terribly long.
And those were your top five defensive plays from the Vikings in their last game. Thoughts, ladies and gentlemen!