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Game Predictions

Vikings vs Chargers Preview & Prediction

September 8, 2011 by Brady in Game Predictions

The Minnesota Vikings are set to go to California to take on Philip Rivers and the high-powered offense of the San Diego Chargers.

Donovan McNabb has stated over and over this off-season that this season is going to be “one to remember,” and that it will be “that special kind of season.” McNabb, who came off of a horrid one year stint with the Washington Redskins, throwing more interceptions then touchdowns for the first time in his career, is set to take the field with his new team. McNabb will be the new veteran leader in the new, younger version of the Minnesota Vikings.

McNabb had one down year in his career, last season, and now critics are saying it’s over for McNabb and that he’s a has-been. For one, McNabb was always accurate and dominant in every down he played. As a starter, when he led the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999 to 2009, he had plenty more wins then losses. McNabb usually performs with an MVP-like style, and is always the guy that is known to throw bullets. Except a big turn around from McNabb this game, with a few touchdown passes to shut critics up.

One thing McNabb has never had is a solid run game behind him. Teams always expected, when he was an Eagle, to do what the Eagles did best, and that was to throw the ball. But now as a Viking he has the top running back in the league, five-year veteran Adrian Peterson, right behind him. The Vikings will be unpredictable in this season opener. They could:

A.) Throw the ball.

- McNabb has the arm strength, pin-point accuracy and the smarts of a franchise quarterback. He could force a tight spiral into double coverage, throw to multiple tight ends for a first down, bomb a deep ball to Berrian, or throw to Adrian Peterson for a quick snap. He has many weapons that can be utilized, and they definitely will be.

B.) Run the ball.

- AP is definitely a guy that can dominant some of the top defenses in the league. Even though the Chargers were ranked number one in almost every defensive category besides PPG (points per game) last season, don’t except AP not to have a big game. Last time he faced San Diego he ran for an NFL record. He rushed for 296 yards on 30 carries and 3 touchdowns. Adrian Peterson, facing any defense in the league, is a big enough workload to slow any defense down.

C.) Use the new wild-cat offense.

- Joe Webb was named the third quarterback this season, but he is rumored to be the apparent leader in the Vikings’ wild-cat offense in the Bill Musgrave’s new playbook. Webb has the speed and the arm to do whatever on the field to throw a defense off.

There’s so many things that we’ll see the Vikings do that they’ve never done before in this one game. Expect this to be an outstanding, high scoring game. Philip Rivers is truly one of the best in the leagues and can dominate when the time is right. The Vikings have one solid defense that can shutdown the rush, but not the passing game very well. Expect to see balls flying on the Chargers’ side, and the ball being ran on the Vikings’ side.

The Chargers have on thing the Vikings do not. They lost Darren Sproles to the New Orleans Saints this off-season, and that was a big loss. Philip Rivers even said so on an interview on NFL.com. He said “Sproles could do big plays at the right time, some things Matthews and Tolbert couldn’t do.”

It’ll be a great game. I predict the Vikings to come out on top 35-31, not just because I’m a Viking fan, but because this Vikings’ team is going to be scary and definitely is going to surprise many in the football world with all the weapons that they have in both offense and defense. The Chargers passing game won’t be enough to stop the passing and rushing game of the Vikings. The Chargers clearly don’t have near as dominant of a rushing game like Minnesota. The team can’t just rely on Rivers lead the to a Superbowl.

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