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11.12.2019 03:15
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EAGAN Football Olisaemeka Udoh Jersey , Minn. — With play-action pass after play-action pass, Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams just kept picking Minnesota’s proud and proven defense apart.More Vikings coveragePhotos of the Week: 7/21/19 – 7/27/19Rookie Bradbury is central figure to Vikings’ overhauled offensive lineVikings depth at cornerback being tested, Hughes still not clearedPlayers to watch at Minnesota Vikings 2019 training campTop Tweets: Vikings WR Diggs makes push for All-NFL Style TeamOpportunities for the Vikings to disrupt Goff’s rhythm with a well-timed sack or a hurried incompletion were scant, as the high-octane Rams never let up in that 38-31 victory last week over the suddenly sputtering Vikings.“They don’t give you too many drop-back passes where you can rush the quarterback,” coach Mike Zimmer said after that humbling performance when Goff went 26 for 33 for 465 yards and five touchdowns.The pressure is on the Vikings (1-2-1) to rebound from this rough first quarter of the season and climb back toward the top of the NFC where they’ve been expected to be. Speaking of pressure, well, the Vikings haven’t been producing enough of it.“Just get him off his spot, you know? Be effective,” defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson said. “Put a lot of pressure in his face and around his legs.”Goff was only sacked once and hit twice in 35 passing plays. With Todd Gurley’s dangerous presence in the backfield, the Vikings simply weren’t able to prioritize rushing Goff over stopping the ground game.With Rams coach Sean McVay cleverly calling a variety of rollout and misdirection plays, the Vikings simply weren’t able to get to Goff in time. That’s one reason why their linebackers, safeties and cornerbacks were out of sorts in coverage all night.“We’ve just got to get in the classroom, fix our mistakes, see what we did wrong and just try to get better,” said defensive end Danielle Hunter Youth Garrett Bradbury Jersey , who has four of the team’s 11 sacks.The Vikings actually rank seventh in the NFL in sacks per pass attempt at 8.4 percent. As in their loss to Buffalo the week before, though, they didn’t deliver that drive-ending or touchdown-saving takedown of the quarter against the Rams when they needed it most.Richardson pointed to the myriad ways the Rams were able to stay a step ahead with their scheme and, essentially, use the strengths of the Vikings against them.“It might look like we’re not pass rushing, but that’s what we’re doing. We’re doing our job,” Richardson said. “I think it can get better.”The Vikings not only led the league last season in fewest points and yards allowed, but they denied opponents on third downs more often than any other team. So far this year, their foes have displayed a desire to call more aggressive plays on second down so as to avoid those difficult scenarios.“It’s harder to get sacks. Guys are scheming so you won’t be able to get sacks. Quarterbacks are aware of that too,” Richardson said, not even mentioning the increased emphasis on roughing-the-passer penalties. “In the schemes, it’s two-seconds-it’s-gone.”Still indefinitely missing defensive end Everson Griffen , while he gets treatment for mental health issues, the Vikings won’t have much easier of a time this week at Philadelphia. The Eagles, of course Mike Hughes Jersey , won the last meeting 38-7 in the NFC championship game last season with the same type of multi-faceted attack the Rams employed to keep the Vikings from digging in and unleashing their pass rush.“The past makes you who you are,” Richardson said, adding: “We have things we need to work on. Now we’ve got to get to it. We’ve got to change those. Otherwise we’re going to get beat again.” If they get on the field Friday night — and most of them are expected to play — a handful of former Vikings and current Saints will see some familiar faces on the other side.The Saints have punt returner Marcus Sherels, center Nick Easton, fullback Zach Line, running back Latavius Murray and, of course, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. This will be the first time Bridgewater has played against the Vikings, who drafted him in the first round in 2014 and let him leave as a free agent two years ago after his massive knee injury altered plans to build their offense around him.More Vikings coverageVikings’ Kearse faces gun, drunken driving charges after arrestVikings’ Kearse apologizes, returns to work after weekend arrestPhotos of the Week: 10/20/19 – 10/26/19Vikings surge into second half thanks to Cousins, CookVikings Snap Counts: Penalties spoil Mattison’s big day“I’m proud of him, for him to be able to come back from the type of injury that he had to still be playing in the NFL,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said of Bridgewater, who is competing to be Drew Brees‘ backup. “It was a pretty bleak outlook for him Anthony Barr Jersey , but that’s the kind of kid he is.“He’ll try and stick it to us, just like we’re going to stick it to him.”Saints coach Sean Payton said Bridgewater is “certainly going to play a lot” in the preseason opener.“I think that a second year into what we’re doing has benefited him and he brings all those other intangibles that allow you to win that are necessary at that position,” Payton said.A priority for the Saints is replacing retired three-time Pro Bowl center Max Unger. Top candidates include rookie Erik McCoy, a second-round draft choice out of Texas A&M; Easton, signed this year as a free agent; and Cameron Tom, a third-year pro who began his NFL career in New Orleans as an undrafted rookie and who has played sparingly as a reserve interior lineman. The stakes are high for Easton, who has a four-year contract worth up to $22.5 million — if he can play well enough to stick around at that price. He also is trying to come back from a neck injury that wiped out his 2018 season.Since Mark Ingram left for Baltimore in free agency, the Saints have been looking for a strong inside rusher who can also catch the ball to complement star running back Alvin Kamara. Murray was signed to potentially fill that role. Returning reserve running back Dwayne Washington is also in the mix.The Vikings will get their first chance to test their new scheme directed by offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski and influenced by offensive adviser Gary Kubiak. Rookie tight end Irv Smith Jr. will likely see significant playing time on his 21st birthday in his hometown, where his father, Irv Smith Sr., once played tight end for the Saints.“He’s swimming, because we’re asking a lot of him right now,” Kubiak said, adding: “But that’s the way it should be. That’s why he’s here.”

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