|CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-2)||WK 3||MINNESOTA VIKINGS (0-2)|
|Date:||22 September 2013
|Time:||12:00 PM Central||Stadium:||HHH Metrodome|
DirecTV Ch 705
Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch 230
Sirius Ch 113
|TV Announcers:||Kevin Harlan
|Know Thy Foe:||Dawgs By Nature|
|Line:||Chicago -7, O/U 41 (thanks to the SB Nation Odds page)|
|Chris' Prediction:||Vikings 27, Browns 17|
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-Basically, thou shalt not be a jackwagon in the game thread.
Today, the Minnesota Vikings will play their first game of the year. . .and the only one in the first month of the season. . .at the friendly confines of the Metrodome. After a couple of tough losses to start the year, our favorite football team is looking to get on the winning track starting this afternoon. So, how can the Vikings emerge from this match-up of 0-2 teams with a "1" in the W column?
1) Don't get cocky, kid - Yes, the Cleveland Browns are starting the guy that started this year as the third-string quarterback. Yes, the Cleveland Browns shocked the football world by trading away their star running back earlier in the week. But all of these guys are professionals that have, at least, some modicum of talent under their belts or else they wouldn't be here. The Vikings, at 0-2, can't afford to overlook anybody, even a team that appears to have cashed in their chips for 2013 already.
2) Be patient on offense - For as many struggles as the Browns have had on offense this season, their defense is no joke, as they're fifth in the NFL in yards allowed and fourth against the run so far. The Browns are more vulnerable in the passing game, however, and it will be up to quarterback Christian Ponder to keep the momentum from last week's second half in Chicago going in this one. If the Vikings can keep the Browns' defense on the field and not give them extra opportunities, the odds of the Vikings winning this one will increase greatly.
3) Bring the heat on defense - With a relatively inexperienced quarterback like Brian Hoyer behind center and what should be a raucous home crowd, the Vikings' pass rush has a very good chance to get off the skids this week. Jared Allen is going to have his hands full with all-world offensive tackle Joe Thomas on one side, but the right side of the Cleveland line, consisting of Oniel Cousins and Mitchell Schwartz, has been relatively awful this year. Guys like Brian Robison and Everson Griffen, along with Kevin Williams and Sharrif Floyd, are going to have to pick up their games with Allen dealing with Thomas.
Week Three is, generally, too early for a "must-win" game. However, if they have any hopes of contending this season, they really need to come out of this one with a victory. Minnesota's next four games are against teams that have started the season 0-2, but they have to get the first one before they get the rest of them. Hopefully they can get something started this afternoon before next week's big trip to London.
We're about an hour and fifteen minutes away from game time, folks. We hope that you'll be here to watch what we hope will be a Minnesota Vikings' victory.