Predicting Minnesota Vikings’ Week 12 X-Factor

Andrew Sendejo

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

With Aaron Rodgers out again for the Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota Vikings‘ defensive game plan has changed quite drastically. Last time these teams faced off the Vikings were worried about controlling the Packers’ passing attack, but this weekend it will be the Packers’ run game with Eddie Lacy that the Vikings will be game planning against.

Scott Tolzien has been rather unimpressive in his two starts since Rodgers’ injury as the third-year quarterback has five interceptions to just one touchdown. He is completing nearly 66 percent of his passes, but late in games he’s crumbled recently by turning the ball over, something the Vikings’ secondary must force on Sunday if they hope to limit the Packers offense.

With Tolzien turning the ball over lately and the Packers looking to keep the ball in the hands of Lacy throughout the game, it will be Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo who will be the team’s Week 12 x-factor. Sendejo began the year as the Vikings’ backup free safety, but after the injury to Harrison Smith, Sendejo stepped in and has been a force in stopping the run.

Although unusual for a safety to specialize in stopping the run, that is the type of player Sendejo has been this season meaning Sunday will be his time to shine. Middle linebacker Erin Henderson, who also has been a key player in stopping the run, will miss Sunday’s game due to personal issues meaning not only will Sendejo have the opportunity to shine, but he must make capitalize on those opportunities if the Vikings hope to escape Lambeau Field with a victory.

With Tolzien at quarterback there will also be the opportunity for Sendejo to make a difference in pass coverage as well as the quarterback has made poor reads at times. The Vikings must play solid football on Sunday if they hope to beat their longtime rival, but it’s Andrew Sendejo who must come prepared and be the team’s unsuspecting x-factor.

Nick Baker is a contributing writer for Rant Sports and you can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.

Related: 5 Vikings Players To Keep An Eye On Week 12


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