The Minnesota Vikings come into this game tied for first in the NFCN with a 3-1 record riding a two game winning streak over two teams that were in the playoffs last year (one of which competed in the NFC Championship game a year ago) and the other who some would say got lucky after not beating one team last season with a winning record on their way to a first round loss to the Saints (take it for what its worth). Tennessee is coming off a pounding at the hands of the Texans in which they only scored 14 points and were solidly beat by 24 points. The Vikings are coming off a win in which the offense looked completely out of sync and inept scoring only 6 points (2 Field Goals), the good news their special teams scored 14 points and the Vikings defense held Detroits’ high powered offense to a mere 13 points.
What I like about this match-up. Tennessee’s offense lives off of play action and with CJ2K it has a legitimate potency to it. However coming into this game Tennessee’s run offense has been dismal (and that is being kind), The Vikings front 7 have been stellar versus the run so far this year allowing teams a meager 85.3 yards a game at a 3.3 yards/ carry average. Tennessee could still exploit Minnesota’s soft zone but their Oline has looked weak this year and Hasselbeck is less mobile than Locker was- Advantage Vikings.
Offensively the Vikings have shown they can score points when they need to but they need to show they can score points whenever they want to. Tennessee is the perfect match up for this and I expect Musgrave to use a heavy dose of Play action to get Rudolph, Harvin and Simpson ample looks and touches in this game. Vikings offensive line has also shown dominance (at least on the left side) Loadholdt and Fusco struggled last game to contain Avril and fortunately Titans do not have a player that is as athletic on their left side of the defensive line. Vikings run game has also been highly effective and expect that to continue into this week at home versus the Titans.
Game Plan: Force the Titan’s to become one dimensional by shutting down Chris Johnson early and allow our Defensive Ends to chase down a much older much less mobile Hasselbeck. Win the Turn over battle, Vikings defense has been great in causing fumbles but they need to create more INTS they’ve had chances but have not capitalized on them.