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The Quest to Get Back On Track



Date: November 2, 2008 Location: Minneapolis, MN
Time: 12:00 P.M. CST Stadium: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
DirecTV Ch. 707
Know Thy Enemy: Battle Red Blog
Gonzo's Prediction: Vikings 27, Texans 23
Final Score: Vikings 28, Texans 21

I'm not going to lie to you, folks. . .this game didn't particularly worry me when the schedules first came out last year. But with what's gone on this past week and what the future could potentially hold, this is a MUST-win football game this afternoon.

On paper, this is a game that Minnesota should win. Yes, I know that the Texans have won three consecutive games and all that jazz. But, with all due respect to Gary Kubiak's squad, the three teams that they've beaten in those three games have a combined total of three victories. . .and all three of them belong to the Miami Dolphins, as the Texans have had the privilege of playing both of the NFL's remaining winless teams over the past two weeks in victories over Detroit and Cincinnati.

The main threat that the Vikings are going to have to keep an eye on today is WR Andre Johnson. Johnson has posted four consecutive games with at least 130 receiving yards, and will be looking to make it five today. I'd like to think that we'd see Antoine Winfield on him all afternoon, but we know that the Vikings don't make adjustments like that, so look for Johnson to be lighting Cedric Griffin up like a Christmas tree. Hopefully the debut of Madieu Williams can help to counteract that a bit.

The Williams Wall has not been suspended as of right now, so I wouldn't expect rookie Steve Slaton to do a heck of a lot this afternoon. That means that the Texans are going to have to take to the air to move the ball. Hopefully Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, and the rest of the Vikings' defense can take advantage of the opportunities they'll be given today.

The Texans' defense isn't terribly special. They're 26th in the league in points allowed, so they can be scored on. Their pass defense is 16th in terms of yardage allowed, and their rush defense is 16th. Regardless, I'd expect Adrian Peterson to continue being Adrian Peterson, and hopefully Gus can discern the difference between the white jerseys that the Texans will be wearing and the purple ones that belong to his teammates. It's going to be imperative that Bryant McKinnie keep DE Mario Edwards as far away from Frerotte as possible.

This is going to be a much closer game, I think, than many of us believed it would be a few months ago. However, with the need for momentum going into next week, I think that the Beloved Purple can pull this one out and get themselves back to the even-water mark.

Here's hoping that everyone will be here to watch, comiserate, and celebrate as appropriate this afternoon. See you in two hours!