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Longacre was a surprise inactive against the Chief
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TOPIC: Longacre was a surprise inactive against the Chief

Longacre was a surprise inactive against the Chief 6 months ago #35462

  • elaine95
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have been built around a stifling defense since Mike Zimmer was hired as head coach.That foundation has developed a frightening amount of cracks Rashan Gary Jersey , one-fourth of the way through Zimmer’s fifth season. The Vikings allowed 456 passing yards in their 38-31 loss in Los Angeles to the Rams on Thursday night, the highest total against them since 1980.Zimmer said afterward he’s never been a part of pass defense so poor in his career, which includes successful stretches as an innovative defensive coordinator with Cincinnati and Dallas. The following afternoon, Zimmer wasn’t in any better of a mood when he was asked to assess the coverage breakdowns that led to five touchdown passes by Jared Goff.“It was guys getting out of position. There was some misdirection plays. It was similar to what we’ve gotten before,” Zimmer said on a conference call with reporters on Friday. “Some of it was corners, some of it was safeties, some of it was linebackers, some of it was nickels, some of it was me.”You?“I might be over-coaching them some,” Zimmer said.The good news is the Vikings have three extra days to recover from the Rams game and prepare for their trip to Philadelphia. The bad news is that next game is against the Super Bowl champion Eagles, who were last seen by the Vikings in that 38-7 blowout in the NFC championship game. As dominant as Zimmer’s defenses have been, certain teams with versatile and creative passing attacks have been able to exploit them. The Eagles last season and the Rams this year are two glaring examples.Zimmer stopped short of blaming his system for the problems against the Rams, noting the 24-7 victory by the Vikings in Minnesota last season, but the most devastating plays against them on Thursday night were the result of mismatches that Rams head coach Sean McVay helped create with either pre-snap confusion or clever play-calling.Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr wound up in coverage on three of the five touchdown passes, to running back Todd Gurley , wide receiver Cooper Kupp and wide receiver Robert Woods .“They had a good game plan against us,” defensive end Danielle Hunter said. “We made more mistakes than they did Darnell Savage Jr. Jersey , and then they ended up on top.”The Vikings only allowed 300-plus passing yards in six games over Zimmer’s first four seasons, let alone 400-plus, with a previous high of 383 passing yards at Miami in 2014. Even the 2013 team that finished next-to-last in the league in passing defense didn’t yield a 400-yard game.With the arrival of a new quarterback and offensive coordinator, Zimmer said, he figured the Vikings (1-2-1) could start slowly the season. They were 2-2 at the first-quarter mark last year, before finishing 13-3. So all is not lost, but this once-daunting defense has a lot of work to do.“This team has a chance to be really, really good. One week it’s the offense. One week it’s the defense. One week it’s the special teams,” Zimmer said. “If we put it all together, we can beat any team there is.” THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — With an extra week to reflect on a Monday night shootout in which the Los Angeles Rams allowed 51 points and 546 yards to the Kansas City Chiefs, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was focused on the positives.The Rams had three interceptions, recovered two fumbles, scored two defensive touchdowns and were able to add one more win to their record.“Yeah, we want the five turnovers,” Phillips said Thursday. “We don’t want all the other stuff. But that’s what we’re working towards.”After a sterling start to the season that included six consecutive scoreless quarters and allowing Arizona to run one play in Rams’ territory in a dominant 34-0 win, Los Angeles has allowed 31 or more points in five of its past eight games. That total includes each of its past three games Elgton Jenkins Jersey , but Phillips remains upbeat about the trajectory of his defense.The main source of that optimism comes from the Rams’ ability to generate takeaways against the Chiefs. The defense did not have an interception in its three previous games against Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, and it forced only two fumbles in those three games against Green Bay, New Orleans and Seattle, but was able to turn up the pressure against the Chiefs.Phillips was especially pleased with the interceptions by cornerback Marcus Peters and safety Lamarcus Joyner in the final minutes when the Chiefs had chances to tie or win the game. The ability to make plays in critical moments, Phillips said, has been one of the defense’s best attributes.“The good thing about this team, defensively, is they have been resilient in key situations,” Phillips said. “How many times in the last two minutes have they come through and made plays where they cause a turnover? The last game, they have a great offense and they have already scored 50 points, they get the ball with two minutes left and another time with two minutes left and we get two turnovers.”However, Phillips would like to see improvement in other areas start this week against the Detroit Lions when the Rams (10-1) can clinch the NFC West with a win.It could come with cornerback Aqib Talib on track to play for the first time since sustaining a high ankle sprain that required surgery against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3.Rams coach Sean McVay said Talib made it through practice Wednesday without any setbacks and expected the veteran defensive back to play against the Lions.McVay called Talib’s impending return a “big boost to our football team,” but said the exact nature of his participation would be determined later in the week.“What does that mean in terms of snap count, what exactly that role is, really it is something that we’re going to continue to evaluate based on the way his ankle responds,” McVay said. “If things go the way we anticipate Jace Sternberger Jersey , we hope and what we expect, then I think you can expect to see him play.”Getting Talib back could make a major difference in how the Rams perform, as the defense is allowing nearly a full yard per play more without him. The Rams have allowed 6.43 yards per play in the eight games without Talib, compared to 5.59 yards per play in the three games Talib started.Slot corner Nickell Robey-Coleman said Talib’s presence means more than being able to play the press coverage Phillips prefers.“For him to be back on the field, I think it only makes everybody better. Listening to a veteran call things out — ‘Watch out for this, watch out for that’ — he’s real good at things like that,” Robey-Coleman said. “When we got him back, it’s like all our confidence came back in a sense.”The Rams should also have outside linebacker Matt Longacre back in the lineup against the Lions. Longacre was a surprise inactive against the Chiefs, which McVay said was solely because of the game plan for that week and not because of performance. Longacre has appeared in 10 games this season, making seven starts, with 15 tackles and one tackle for loss.“It wasn’t anything Matt did or didn’t do,” McVay said. “He’s been a very good player for us, but he didn’t do anything that was like, ‘OK, he’s not playing at a certain level.’ It was just specific to the game plan.”NOTES: Defensive tackle Ethan Westbrooks participated in Thursday’s walk-through after not practicing Wednesday because of illness. With LT Andrew Whitworth and C John Sullivan were both full participants Thursday after getting a day off to rest, every player on the Rams roster was available.
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