Vikings Can't Read Too Much into Shutting Fitzgerald Down & More NFC North News

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 9: Chad Greenway #52 and Husain Abdullah #39 break up a pass intended for Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals on October 9, 2011 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Cardinals 34-10. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

A big part of the Vikings’ win was shutting down Larry Fitzgerald, according to the Pioneer Press’ Cody Steger.

Hopefully, the Vikings don’t hang their hat on that too much.

I don’t want to take away the achievement of the Vikings’ secondary because they did play well. However, this goes back to something I have spoken about many times: When you get pressure up front, your secondary is set up for success.

Let’s not forget how brutally bad the Arizona offensive line was. However, I’ve watched defenses fail to take advantage of bad O-lines before and the Vikings—while starting out slow defensively—abused the Cardinal front five.

They had poor Cardinals quarterback John Skelton frantic and running for his life all day long.

Larry Fitzgerald is on pace for one of his worst seasons ever as a pro—and it has nothing to do with him and everything to do with a putrid offense.

He’s had exactly one game over 100 yards, rarely sees the end zone and has no other weapons around him to pull coverage.

He’s still Larry Fitzgerald, one of the best receivers in the league.

But this is why, when people talk about the players with the biggest impact or the MVPs in the NFL, receivers don’t get a lot of love. You can have a great receiver and if the quarterback, offensive line, running backs don’t do their jobs, they can be negated—if not easily, efficiently.

So good for the Vikings’ secondary, because Fitzgerald even with garbage around him, is a dangerous weapon.

Let’s not take it as more than it is, though: a nice effort against a terrible offense.


Chicago Bears

Dan Pompei of The Tribune says the Bears' offense needs to get going earlier in games.

A Cover-2 defense could be the solution for the Bears to shut down Calvin Johnson, according to the Sun-Times' Adam Jahns. writer Jon Greenberg says tonight is a chance for the Bears to make a statement.


Detroit Lions

Anwar Richardson of says the Lions are primed and ready to ramp up the rivalry with the division rival Bears.

Mikel Leshoure will get some extra energy from a return to his home state, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

Chris McCosky of The Detroit News says Chris Houston is focusing on the current season, not his potential free agency.


Green Bay Packers

Max Ginsberg of takes a look at Sunday’s win over the Rams.

There are problems with the ground game for the Packers, according to the Journal-Sentinel’s Bob McGinn.

Some more thoughts on the run game from ESPN Wisconsin’s Jason Wilde.


Minnesota Vikings

Tom Pelissero at ESPN 1500 say that despite some ups and downs, the Vikings are pleased with their 5-2 record.

Bleacher Report’s Tim Arcand puts together a trade deadline wish list for the Vikings.

Star-Tribune writer Dan Weiderer says the Vikings can thank a great defensive effort and Adrian Peterson for the win on Sunday.


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