How do you stop a bull/horse and a magician? Vikings hope to find out
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - The Vikings defense has its hands full this week. And that was before dynamic receiver/return man Percy Harvin became eligible to play.
Coming off its second win of the season, Minnesota draws the unenviable task of stopping Marshawn Lynch, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks' playmaking wide receivers.
"They are an outstanding football team and an outstanding offense," defensive coordinator Alan Williams said Thursday. "They present a lot of tough challenges with the running back.
"The guys explained it, I don't know if he's a horse or a bull but somewhere in the mix. He's an outstanding football player."
Brian Robison on Wednesday talked about the importance of wrapping up Lynch, because he so rarely goes down on first contact. Head coach Leslie Frazier talked Lynch's unique ability to run through would-be tacklers.
Frazier stopped short of comparing Lynch to Adrian Peterson - because Lynch more often runs between the tackles and not on the perimeter - but the matchup has invited the comparison.
"Oh, goodness. Same challenge in stopping AP," Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said when asked about the challenge Lynch presents. "He's a big back, he's physical, downhill, but has the speed and the power. He can get to the edge and take any play to the house. He's physical, you have to hit him and wrap him up. We have to tackle, have to gang tackle. You have to get more than one guy to the ball, that's for sure."
He may not be quite the player Peterson is, but is he perhaps the most similar?
"I'd say so. They're both beasts, that's the way to explain it," Allen said. "It's fun playing against him, I love playing against Marshawn."
Just as Williams wrapped up his effusive praise for Lynch, he segued directly into lauding quarterback Russell Wilson.
"The quarterback, he's a magician," Williams said. "He's smart, he runs the football well, he passes well. He's not one-dimensional whatsoever. So he presents a challenge."
OK, got it. So stopping Seattle boils down to getting Lynch to the ground and then worrying about the dynamic pass-run attack from Wilson?
"And the receivers make plays," Williams added, almost as a footnote. And that's before factoring in the added dimension Harvin likely will give the Seahawks' offense the rest of the season.
"It's going to be a handful for us this week," Williams said. "But I think our guys are up to the challenge."