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Vikings 60-second rant: Good defense overshadowed by McNabb

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By Christian West

With the amount of attention being given to QB Donovan McNabb and his propensity to throw screen passes five yards short, then hitch routes three yards too high, there have been few words dedicated to the Vikings' defense, which has actually been pretty good.

The Vikings rush the pass as well as anybody in the league, recording 16 sacks through the first five games, tied for second in the league. DEs Jared Allen and Brian Robison have combined for 13 of those sacks, dominating opposing tackles week in and week out.

The run defense has been strong as always, allowing only 3.3 yards per carry and 76.4 yards per game. LBs E.J. Henderson and Chad Greenway have been stout, playing downhill against the run all season. The return of DT Kevin Williams has helped a lot the last three games.

Even the secondary has played well, holding Vincent Jackson and Larry Fitzgerald to mediocre games. (It had its troubles covering Calvin Johnson, but who hasn't?)

If there has been an issue, it has come in the second half, when the defense is left on the field too long because McNabb and the offense can't consistently sustain drives. That's when the "D" starts allowing the explosive plays down the field that have made possible all of those come-from-ahead defeats.

If the offense can give the defense more consistency and prevent it from wearing down in the second half, it will keep the team in games. The pass rush is ferocious, and that's the best way to attack the spread offenses taking over the league. Allen would be an MVP candidate if his team had held on to a couple of those second-half leads. All the Vikings need is a little competency from the offense, and the defense can get them back into the season.

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