Just hours from the second game of the season, lets take a look at this week’s 3 keys to victory for the Minnesota Vikings:
1) Keep on Running
The identity of the Vikings returned last week with Adrian Peterson. The league’s best re-emerged from reconstructive knee surgery to put on show, and fans should expect more of the same against the Indianapolis Colts.
Now the team has said that they’re not going to fully let Peterson loose yet, which I’m in full agreeance with. The Vikings have Toby Gerhart and Percy Harvin, who apparently is going to be a regular piece of the team’s running attack.
I don’t care who gets the ball, as long as the Vikings are committed to the run. The run has to open up the passing game for Christian Ponder, and not the other way around.
2) Game Management from Ponder
It pretty much goes without saying, but Ponder cannot turn the ball over. He’s going to be in somewhat of a hostile environment Sunday, and the pressure will be on. He’s got to keep his cool and make the smart throws.
He had one fumble last week on a sack, and one throw that should have been picked. Luckily the defense had his back, and kept the offense in the game.
Ponder must play mistake free football Sunday. He’s got to use his check-down options, and keep focused on his favorite targets in Harvin and Kyle Rudolph.
3) Turn up the Heat on Andrew Luck
This is my favorite, and arguably the biggest key come Sunday. All week I’ve been anticipating the first time Jared Allen gets a shot in on the “rook” Andrew Luck. Not that Allen needs anymore motivation to want to get a sack, but I’ll bet he’s a little more fired up to take down the projected next big thing.
The Vikings must bring the heat all game on Luck. You always hear people talk about the speed of the NFL game, and some wondered if that caused some of Luck’s trouble last week. Regardless, Minnesota must keep the blitz dialed up all game, and not allow the young quarterback to get in any sort of rhythm.
So it always looks good on paper, but if the Vikings execute these three things, I see a 2-0 start in their future.