|MINNESOTA VIKINGS (2-8)||GAME #11||ATLANTA FALCONS (6-4)|
|Date:||27 November 2011 ||Location:||Atlanta, GA |
|Time:||12:00 PM Central||Stadium:||Georgia Dome |
DirecTV Ch. 707
|Know Thy Enemy:||The Falcoholic|
|Gonzo's Prediction:||Falcons 31, Vikings 20|
|Final Score:||Falcons 24, Vikings 14|
Yep, still hate predicting Viking losses, but in this case, I don't see a hell of a lot of other options. So, how can the Vikings potentially go about avoiding dropping to 2-9 this afternoon?
1) Win on special teams - Let's face it. . .with Adrian Peterson on the shelf, the Vikings don't have a hell of a lot of advantages in this one. But whether it's Percy Harvin in the return game or Chris Kluwe pinning the Falcons deep or the coverage units getting on Atlanta returners immediately, the Vikings can't afford mistakes in the one area that they may have a slight edge. Screw-ups on special teams this afternoon are going to lead to bad things for the Vikings.
2) Get Christian Ponder on the move - Our pass blocking this year has managed to defy most known laws of physics, somehow managing to suck and blow simultaneously. Our new quarterback has some decent mobility, and getting him out on the edge can help take some of the heat off of our offensive line. I'm not suggesting that rollouts and sprintouts are something you can do on every pass play, but they need to be mixed in to allow Ponder to get out on the edge, be able to see what's happening downfield, and avoid getting himself killed by the Falcons' pass rush.
3) Slow down the Atlanta ground game - Much like the Vikings, the Falcons' philosophy is to open up the passing game with a strong running game. People might not talk about Michael Turner as much as they used to, but he's still a very good running back and capable of taking over a game on the ground. If the Vikings can keep Turner and company contained, it would do a lot to keep the Falcons out of a rhythm and allow the Vikings' pass rush to get after Matt Ryan on passing downs. Jared Allen had his streak of consecutive games with a sack snapped last week at 11. . .if the Vikings want to have any chance in this one, he's going to have to get a new streak started today. Stopping the Atlanta rushing attack will give him more opportunities to do just that.
I'll be honest with you, folks. . .I'm just hoping for this one not to turn ugly at this point.
Kickoff is an hour and a half away. Hopefully we'll cram as many folks in here as possible.