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Keys to Victory for the Minnesota Vikings (Week 5)

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Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

Here’s a look at this week’s Keys To Victory for the Minnesota Vikings as they take on the Tennessee Titans from the Metrodome in Minneapolis this Sunday:

Continue to Play Physical on Defense

Right now, the Vikings are playing extremely disciplined on defense. Staying with the familiar ‘cover 2’ scheme, they’ve kept almost everything in front of them so far.

The defensive line is thriving under the rotational philosophy implored by new coordinator Alan Williams. Guys like Letroy Guion and Everson Griffen have emerged as legitimate pass-rushing threats.

Chad Greenway has been the anchor of the unit all season though. He’s currently fifth in the league with 44 tackles, and he just seems to be involved in nearly every play on the field.

The Vikings have an elite player at every level of the defense, and the young players are coming along nicely. They must continue playing fundamentally sound football in week 5, and keep bringing it with physical hits.

Another 100-yard game from Adrian Peterson

One thing we know for sure about the Vikings’ offensive attack, Adrian Peterson is going to get his touches. His workload has increased as the season has progressed and in week 5 he’ll only be closer to 100%.

Last week Peterson tallied one hundred yards on the ground against the Detroit Lions, and there’s no reason he can’t do it again against the Titans.

The ground game sets the tone for the Vikings’ offense. The passing game is not elite enough to survive without a good run game so twenty touches or more should be in Peterson’s future this Sunday.

Get Everyone Involved in the Passing Game

With the return of Jerome Simpson last week, the Vikings’ passing game is in full effect. Simpson made a clear impact on the field during last week’s win, and he showed that if it’s thrown in his direction, good things tend to happen.

Backup tight end John Carlson desperately needs some more targets this week, as he’s produced next to nothing thus far. If Carlson can emerge even just as a respectable target in the short passing game, it will do wonders for Kyle Rudolph on the other side.

In addition to Simpson and Rudolph, Percy Harvin will of course continue to be the focal point of Minnesota’s short passing game. The Lions did a good job of limiting him last week, and it’s likely that other teams will also start to cheat up on Harvin to disrupt the short throws.

I’m calling for Bill Musgrave to design a passing scheme that will get the ball downfield more. Now that the Vikings have established this conservative approach, they must continue to slowly expand each week, mainly to keep opposing defenses on their toes.

Christian Ponder needs the throw for greater than 250 yards and at least two touchdowns in this one, and we can only hope he stays perfect in the interception department. However if he does get picked trying to make something happen down the field, I won’t be too upset.

Follow Andrew Fisher on Twitter @the_realfish

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