After the Vikings 24-17 loss to the Chargers, I found a few positives and negatives. Obviously, I found more negatives than positives, but the game was better than I expected. This week should be an easier game, at home against a team that last week lost to Detroit 27-20 (Detroit isn't the same Detroit anymore). However, it is the Vikings, it is the NFL, and nothing is guaranteed. It won't be easy. I'll tell you what we need to do to get the W on Sunday after the jump.Key #1 - Establish Adrian Peterson: This is pretty self-explanatory, I think. We have the best running back in the NFL, and we just gave him an enormous new contract. You saw our passing game last week, right? That's what we have left if Adrian can't get anything going. He needs the offensive line to open holes, and he actually needs to hit them when the line opens them. Additionally, if we have a solid ground game, things should be a lot easier for Donovan McNabb.
Key #2 - Tackle LeGarrette Blount: You might look at this and say, 'duh, of course we're going to tackle him,' or 'he only had 15 yards last week.' However, Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris admitted to shying away from the 'weapon' they have on offense in order to use the 2-minute offense that they didn't need at the time. So, expect Blount to get carries this week. One thing about Blount is that he is built similar to a certain someone who scored 3 touchdowns against us last week. He is built like a guy who wants to run people over (Mike Tolbert, if you for some reason didn't figure out who I'm talking about). The only player I can recall that had success tackling Tolbert from what I saw was our smallest player, Antoine Winfield. As a team, we need to limit Blount to as little yards after contact as possible.
Key #3 - Contain Josh Freeman and Mike Williams: These two have become a nice compliment to each other in Tampa. Freeman and Williams are on their way to becoming one of the best QB-WR tandems in the NFL, if they're not already. Last week, they connected for a touchdown on which Williams made a sensational catch in the back of the end-zone while tip-toeing his feet in-bounds. We need to make sure Freeman and Williams don't connect for some big plays this week, otherwise Freeman could catch fire and light us up.
Key #4 - McNabb NEEDS to play better: This is pretty obvious. McNabb threw for 39 yards last week. 39. That's really all that needs to be said.
Key #5 - Secondary Play: Phillip Rivers threw for 335 yards last week. That can't happen this week. We need a corner to step up and make a name for themselves. Chris Cook showed some positives last week, but the penalties downgraded his performance. Whether its Cook, Asher Allen, or even Marcus Sherels, someone needs to step up and fill that big hole we have at corner.
Key #6 - Offensive Line: If you didn't see the offensive line ratings from week 1, click here. It will explain everything. It was horrendous. We need to protect McNabb and give him time to look down the field more than 5 yards.
Prediction: This game should be really close. The Bucs should be motivated from a tough loss last week, as should the Vikings. McNabb should play plenty better than last week. Also, it's at the dome. I'm going to give the advantage to the home team, in this case, our Vikings. Longwell kicks a game-winning field goal to win 23-20.