Let’s take a look at this week’s ‘Keys to Victory’ for the Vikings:
Get Jerome Simpson and Kyle Rudolph Involved
The glaring weakness for the Vikings’ offense all season has been the lack of a down-field threat. Over the past few weeks they’ve tried to remedy that by forcing the ball to Simpson, but it’s yet to prove successful.
Coming into a tough road game, I’m okay with forgetting about the down-field passing game. This will be a game about controlling the clock and not turning the ball over. I’m not saying the Vikings shouldn’t take some shots down the field, but keeping the chains moving is the priority.
Rudolph and Simpson must get involved early and often come Sunday. These guys are too talented to be putting up the numbers they have for the last several weeks. The Vikings must prioritize their involvement in this game.
Next Man Up in the Secondary
With the Vikings down a cornerback (Chris Cook), it’s up to rookie Josh Robinson to show why he was one of the top-rated corners in the draft this year.
You can be assured the Seahawks will try to exploit the rookie any chance they get, so it will be a matter of Robinson being up to the task.
However, on the flip side, there will be a rookie throwing those passes in Russell Wilson. You can bet that Antoine Winfield is not about to let a rookie show up his secondary, so I’m predicting the unit will be ready with a solid game plan come Sunday.
Christian Ponder – The Game Manager
Vikings’ fans want to see the Ponder from the first five games re-emerge this Sunday in Seattle. Sure, he wasn’t flashy, but he was managing games by making smart throws, and not turning the ball over. That’s all Minnesota needs him to do against the Seahawks.
While Seattle is a good team, they’re definitely not a team that Ponder has to beat. The Vikings should be able to execute their game plan of running Adrian Peterson, making short throws to Percy Harvin, and playing solid defense. All they need Ponder to do is play well. They don’t need him to be great – just to go out there and execute the plays, and not take points off the board.