Getting to know your opponet: Minnesota Vikings Edition

Well the Minnesota Vikings are coming to town this week and the Carolina Panthers are looking for their first win streak of the season if they can beat the Vikes. The key this week will be stopping All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson. If the Panthers can slow him down they will have a great chance to topple the Vikings. Here to give us a bit more information on the Vikings is Jon Merckle of Vikings Age.

1. What was your opinion of Christian Ponder’s first start last week? Is he a better option than McNabb?

While our shiny new quarterback went 13-32 we loved it.  Ponder has the ability to extend plays with his feet, has a decent arm, is accurate and gets it above the shoulders.  The kid even showed a little bit of swagger doing a guns-and-holster touchdown dance emulating Happy Gilmore character Shooter McGavin. After cheering for\ older quarterbacks near the end of their careers in Brad Johnson, Gus Frerotte and Brett Favre it’s nice to know we have a guy who’s going to be “the guy” for the next several years.  And speaking of older quarterbacks, Donovan McNabb looked like a shell of his former self and now may be better off in the broadcast booth.

2. The Vikings defense seems to be showing their age a bit outside of Jared Allen. What do they have to do better for the rest of the season to help the Vikings win some more games?

You’re certainly correct there.  Defensive end Jared Allen is an absolute manchild in the prime of his career, however some of the key pieces from our successful 2009 team look like has-beens.  Cornerback Cedric Griffin had two knee surgeries and has lost explosiveness.  EJ Henderson broke his leg in 2009, recovered well but is showing age. Antoine Winfield has been an elite cornerback the past several years, but is 34 now and on occasion looks like Father Time has caught up with him too.   Towards actually winning more games the key players in Allen, linebacker Chad Greenway, defensive tackle Kevin Williams and Winfield have to force more three-and-outs and turnovers.  We do have enough horses on defense to keep games close.

3. The coaching staff seems to like to move Percy Harvin around a lot lining him up in the backfield, the slot and outside. Where do you think he is best suited?

Purple Haze is a natural in the slot and has no business playing outside being listed at 5’11”.  He’s explosive, shifty, strong enough
to avoid being jammed at the line or having his route broken off and can exploit the middle of the field with his after the catch running ability.  But he’s also a threat out of the backfield as an occasional change of pace back.  He’s even averaging over 10 yards a carry this year (that’s not a typo)!

4. With the loss of Sidney Rice to free agency the Vikings don’t really have another threat offensively outside of Peterson, who needs to step up more for this offense?

Losing Sidney to Seattle definitely stung.  That being said, he only had 1 good season out of 4 with us (which was fueled by a career year from Favre) and we simply weren’t going to pay him $41 million as Seattle did.  Peterson is obviously in the selected few of great players.  Other than him, Visanthe Shiancoe showed chemistry last week with Ponder and is still a serviceable tight end.

We’re also very excited about rookie Kyle Rudolph.  And keep an eye on Devin Aromashodu getting more snaps now that Bernard Berrian is unemployed. Aromashodu is a decent speed/size combo at wide receiver who made a great touchdown catch versus Arizona.

5. What is your prediction for the game?

Folks will tune in wanting to watch Newton and will be talking about Ponder through Monday.  Vikings defeat Panthers 23-17.  Good luck this weekend… Skol!

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Monday, Nov 1010 Nov8:30at Philadelphia EaglesBuy Tickets

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