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Vikings Look To Get Back On Winning Track

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Patrick McDermott


Date: 21 October 2012
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Time: 12:00 PM Central Stadium: HHH Metrodome
DirecTV Ch. 705
Radio: Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch. 231
Sirius Ch. 112
TV Announcers: Chris Myers
Tim Ryan
Know Thy Foe: Revenge of the Birds
Chris' Prediction: Vikings 20, Cardinals 16
Final Score:

Once again, the ground rules for the Game Threads:

-Thou shalt not promote illegal feeds of today's game, or I shall kick thy arse to the curb until the game is over. Thou hast been warned.

-Thou shalt make an attempt to keep the swearing to a minimum. Understandable that it will slip occasionally, but do try to limit it.

-Thou shalt not feed the trolls. Rather, thou shall simply point them out, and they shall be banished to the fires of Mordor. Or Wisconsin. Whichever we feel is more harsh at the time.

-Thou shalt not engage in racist, sexist, or other such insulting rhetoric. Somebody disagreeing with you does not make them racist or sexist. It means they disagree with you. Talk it out like adults.

-Thou shalt not bait the fans of other teams into trolling.

-Basically, thou shalt not be a jackwagon in the game thread.

Well, after a disappointing loss to the Washington Redskins in Week 6, the Minnesota Vikings return to the friendly confines of the Metrodome to start a homestand that will see them play two games in the next five days. The first of those two games will come against the Arizona Cardinals, who (like the Vikings) have surprised many of the "experts" by getting off to a 4-2 start. The Cardinals have dropped two in a row after winning their first four games of the season.

Much has been made about the match-up between the Minnesota defensive line and the Arizona offensive line, and I think that match-up really does hold the key to this afternoon's game. Jared Allen has registered a sack in each of the last four games, but Brian Robison has only gotten one on the season so far. The Cardinals' tackle duo of rookie Bobby Massie and D'Anthony Batiste has been, to put it mildly, awful.

According to our friends at Revenge of the Birds, Pro Football Focus rated Massie and Batiste as the two worst tackles in the NFL when it comes to pass protection. Each of them have played 253 pass blocking snaps, with Batiste giving up 40 pressures and Massie giving up 34. For comparison purposes, Matt Kalil has allowed 9 quarterback pressures in 237 pass blocking snaps.

The best chance for a Vikings victory this afternoon is for Allen, Robison, and the rest of the Vikings' front four to make life miserable for returning Cardinals' quarterback John Skelton. Skelton was named the Cardinals' starter coming out of training camp, and lasted two quarters into the season opener before sustaining an ankle injury. He was replaced by Kevin Kolb, who had some of his ribs actually separated from his sternum last week against the Buffalo Bills. (It hurt just to type that.)

If the Vikings can get to Skelton early and often, they should be able to get themselves back on the winning track. Hopefully that will be the case this afternoon.

We're about an hour and a half away from kickoff at the Metrodome here, folks. Inactive lists will be added to the stream here shortly.