Vikings vs Buccaneers Preview & Prediction NFL Week 2
This Sunday we have a match up between two 0-1 teams that are just steaming over their loss last week. The Vikings started off strong but lost the game due to a combination of the defense not stopping San Diego on third down and the offense putting up some pathetic numbers. The Bucs lost to the up and coming Detroit Lions 27-20 last week. The Bucs had the exact opposite issue the Vikings had last week. Josh Freeman had very little trouble putting up over 250 yards passing but it came at a cost of abandoning their running game. Blount only received 5 touches last week.
This weeks game comes down to a battle of #5 quarterbacks. We have an extremely experienced QB in Donovan McNabb and an up and coming young QB in Freeman. Both will be gunning to get the first “W” of the year for their prospective teams. Let’s look into detail on what the Vikings should focus on in order to turn the season around quickly.
Contain Blount – The Vikings defense had issues with Mike Tolbert last weekend and it’s something they must rectify immediately. Bount is a scary running back that it given the chance could run all over the Vikings. If the Defensive line steps up and stops the run it forces the Bucs to become a one dimensional team. I was very impressed with the way our defensive backs played last week (With the exception of one blown play leaving V. Jackson wide open). Let’s force the young Freeman to test our secondary and make the running game a non issue.
Air Out The Ball - Don’t get me wrong, by no means am I looking to abandon the running game. The Vikings have the best running back in the NFL and our offense is and should always be built around A.P. However, the more we pass the ball the more honest we make opposing defenses. Last week A.P. saw a lot of guys in the box which makes it awfully hard to run the ball successfully. McNabb needs to realize when the defense commits to the run and burn them with a deep throw to Berrien or Harvin. This game should also show the value of the tight ends we have. Shiancoe and Rudolph are arguably two of the best receiving options we have on this team. Let’s utilize these two guys.
Keep Peterson Fresh - As much of a man crush I have on Peterson I realize that we can’t simply pound the ball every play. The Vikings with only being one game into the season are being called predictable. Run on first down, run on second down and a check down throw on third down. Then comes the dreaded punt. Passing the ball will keep the defense honest and allow more opportunities for Peterson and Gerhart. A lot of fans are questioning the value of Gerhart so giving him a couple more plays will not only keep Peterson fresh but also show exactly why we drafted him in the second round.
Keep Fans In The Game – I’ll be the first one to admit that Minnesota Vikings fans CAN be fickle. No im not talking about the die hards that read MNVikingsblog.com but the every day fan that maybe goes to one game a season or casually has the game on at home. I have read many discussion board topics and even “fans” in person who are already giving up on the season after one game. That’s pathetic. Support your team, stay loud, stay proud. Show of your Purple Pride. The Vikings rely on the home field advantage and the dome can be an intimidating place for a team that’s not use to the level of noise that place is capable of making. In order to keep the fans in the game the Vikings need to pull out a couple big plays from their bag of tricks. Let’s get Webb into the game in any other form then the ‘razorback’ set up and let’s have McNabb use that cannon of an arm he has. The Vikings have a lot of potential fire power on this team we just didn’t see it last week. I’m embarrassed to say that if the Vikings lose this game then they may lose a chunk of their fans. Let’s keep the state of Minnesota rocking. Let’s make some big plays, win some games, and get us a new stadium!
My prediction for this game is a hard fought battle with the Vikings taking the “W” 31 -21 this Sunday. What’s your prediction?