The Vikings have a solid pass rush headlined by defensive end Jared Allen, but their secondary of cornerbacks Chris Cook and Xavier Rhodes and safeties Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo is suspect. The Vikings rank 30th against the pass, have allowed a league-high 26 touchdown passes and are giving up 287 passing yards and a total of 407.6 yards per game. "Our pass defense has kind of been up and down," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "We've had some injuries in our secondary that have affected us this season, and we're playing some new guys as well. Trying to stop Joe Flacco and their receiving corps, that's going to be quite a challenge. Torrey Smith and Dallas [Clark], and if they get [Dennis] Pitta back, they've got a good group. Joe is an outstanding young quarterback, so it will be quite a challenge to try to stop them." Although Flacco has had an inconsistent season with 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, he's played much better during the last two games. In wins over the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets, Flacco completed over 65 percent of his throws each game for a combined 524 yards and two touchdown passes. Flacco's passing touch has improved lately, benefiting from the presence of two deep threats in Smith and Jacoby Jones. "They've had a lot of big plays on them," Flacco said of the Vikings. "I think they're a pretty solid group overall. They've got a really good front seven, and they've got some guys in the secondary that can run and play. They are a relentless front; they really come after you. That's the other thing, they haven't had a ton of sacks, but they've really moved the quarterback around a lot and made him move and got him off point. "They're a good defense. I think if they hadn't had a couple of the big plays on them, I think some things would show a little bit differently. We've got to come in there, and we've got to be focused and ready to go."
Lloyd Fox / The Baltimore Sun