|ARIZONA CARDINALS (3-4)||GAME 8||MINNESOTA VIKINGS (2-5)|
|Date:||7 November 2010 ||Location:||Minneapolis, MN|
|Time:||12:00 PM Central ||Stadium:||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome|
DirecTV Ch. 710
|Know Thy Enemy:||Revenge Of The Birds|
|Gonzo's Prediction:||Vikings 23, Cardinals 20|
|Final Score:||Vikings 27, Cardinals 24 (OT)|
One of these days, we'll have a week in Minnesota that goes by without some sort of drama in the locker room or on the sidelines or in the media or something like that. Maybe that week will be next week, who knows for sure. But it has NOT been this week, and we regret once again having to pretty much ignore this week's opponent to focus on other extracurricular activities.
So now, with the Arizona Cardinals coming to town, what are some of the keys for the Vikings possibly pulling together and attempting salvage something. . .anything. . .from this train wreck of a season?
1) Get after the quarterback. . .whoever he is - The Cardinals have had their fair share of issues at quarterback after Kurt Warner left them this off-season. They started out with a battle between Derek Anderson and Matt Leinart. Leinart got cut, Anderson got the starting job, and then has been trading places with undrafted rookie Max Hall. No matter who the Cardinals start at quarterback, it will be someone that can easily be rattled with a little bit of pressure, and the Vikings' defensive line. . .which has gone without a sack for three straight games for the first time in the 50-year history of the Vikings. . .needs to make an appearance and start earning their massive paychecks. The Cardinals' offense is ranked second from the bottom in the NFL in yardage, and third from the bottom in terms of passing the ball. If there was a week for the Vikings' pass rush to get on the right track, this might be the one.
2) Lean on Adrian Peterson on offense - As we know, there is no Randy Moss any more. Percy Harvin has been extremely limited this week, and Bernard Berrian will be stealing his paycheck this week with a groin strain. Couple all of that with Brett Favre still not being 100% healthy, regardless of what he or anyone else says, and the Vikings' offensive game plan should be simple. . .AP, AP, and more AP. Which is probably a good idea, considering that Arizona's defense is 29th in the NFL against the run. Peterson has been playing the best football of his career so far this season. . .that can't be emphasized enough. . .and if the Vikings want to win this afternoon, it would behoove them to give Peterson. . .and, to a lesser extent, Toby Gerhart. . .a lot of touches.
3) Win the turnover battle - This one should always go without saying. The Vikings are -9 in turnover ratio, but the Cardinals' quarterbacks, between them, have thrown 12 interceptions (including eight in the last four games). Those 12 interceptions are the second-highest total in the NFL. Whichever team takes better care of the football will, in all likelihood, win this afternoon's game.
I know there hasn't been a whole lot of positive energy surrounding this team the past couple of weeks, and that's been reflected in the discussion on the site. But Sunday afternoons are the time to try to forget as much of that as possible, and get behind this team. I can't stand Brad Childress and wouldn't shed a tear if he were to get fired as he was walking off the field after this afternoon's game. . .win OR lose. . .but I've been a fan of this team for over a quarter of a century, and I have never and will never pull for this team to lose.
Kickoff is in about two hours. . .and let me be the first to say that it's nice to not have to wait until the late games or the Sunday or Monday night games for our team to kick off.