5 Minnesota Vikings Who Must Perform Better In Week 2
5 Minnesota Vikings Players Who Must Improve Week 2
The Minnesota Vikings came out and had a rather disappointing Week 1 game against the Detroit Lions. Adrian Peterson started out with an incredible 78-yard touchdown run, but after that, the offense and Peterson seemed to barely exist.
The Vikings take on the Chicago Bears this Sunday in Week 2, and because it is a divisional game and a rivalry, the Vikings better come prepared. Last week, there were a handful of Vikings players who underperformed, but if they hope to win this week those players, along with everyone else on the team, must perform up to standard.
Peterson, although starting the game with a great juke move and long touchdown run, was held in check by the Lions’ defense the rest of the game which is on him as well as the offensive line. The line also let up a total of three sacks on the day, and although that isn’t a concerning number, Christian Ponder was under pressure often which led to one of his three interceptions as well as numerous incompletions.
The Vikings came into the year with the expectation of reaching the playoffs again, but in-order to do so the five players who underperformed last week will need to step up their game not only against the Bears, but against every opponent the rest of the season.
The five players listed here are those who either struggled or didn’t live up to expectations in Week 1, and will need to perform better this upcoming week if the Vikings hope to leave Soldier Field with a victory.
5. Brian Robison
Unfortunately the picture of Brian Robison above is from last season instead of last week. Against the Lions, Robison failed to record a sack and managed to total just two tackles on the day. Robison is playing on the defensive line opposite Jared Allen, and with a total of 16.5 sacks the last two seasons combined he entered this year with plenty of expectations, especially with the talented Everson Griffen behind him. Robison will need to make some noise in the Bears’ backfield to not only help the Vikings win, but also to keep his spot in-front of Griffen as the starting left defensive end.
4. Adrian Peterson
Yes, despite totalling over 100 yards of total offense and two touchdowns, Adrian Peterson will need to play better in Week 2. After Peterson’s long touchdown run at the beginning of the game, he was held in check his remaining 17 carries as he picked up just 15 yards over the remaining three and a half quarters. Against the Bears, Peterson will need to show some more consistency picking up yardage throughout the game because that is the only way he will be able to continually take pressure off Ponder and the passing attack.
3. Christian Ponder
Christian Ponder is quite possibly the most obvious player to be on this list. In his third NFL season Ponder disappointed in his first game of the year as he threw three interceptions and lost a fumble as well. Turning the ball over has been the Achilles heel of Ponder while being a member of the Vikings, and even with his improved receiving corps the turnovers keep coming. Ponder doesn’t need to throw for 300 yards like most teams’ quarterbacks must, but he simply needs to take care of the ball and make good decisions when dropping back in the pocket.
2. Matt Kalil
Matt Kalil was named a Pro-Bowler last year, which was his first in the league and is a high honor for any rookie left tackle. Against the Lions, however, Kalil failed to show the blocking skills that landed him in the Pro-Bowl as he had trouble containing Lions rookie Ziggy Ansah who recorded half a sack but got his hands on Ponder multiple times. Kalil didn’t do much to help open up holes for Peterson running the ball either last week, which is why he must absolutely play better this Sunday if the Vikings hope to even keep the game close.
1. Letroy Guion
Letroy Guion is the defensive tackle who played alongside rookie Sharrif Floyd last week against Detroit. Guion and Floyd both had down days and the two combined for two tackles and allowed Lions running backs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell to rush for 115 yards on just 27 carries combined. For a defensive line that is usually one of the best in the league at stopping the run it is concerning that they gave so many yards on the ground to a back who usually is just a threat through the air. Kevin Williams is expected to play against the Bears, which means Guion will be playing alongside him instead of Floyd, and hopefully the two can work together to shut down Matt Forte and the Bears running attack.