Minnesota Vikings' Meltdown: An NFC and AFC Playoff Preview
Here is my take on what all the viewers can expect on Sunday from these four teams.
Colts' Offense vs. Jets' Defense:
The matchup of all matchups. Darrelle Revis vs. Reggie Wayne. Rex Ryan and his crazy defensive schemes vs. arguably the smartest and most intelligent quarterback to ever play the game, Peyton Manning.
The Jets need to get preasure on Manning if they want to have any chance of slowing the Colts down. The Jets' run defense won't help them much in this game considering the Colts average some 80 yards rushing per game. The only thing keeping the Jets up so far in these playoffs is thier pass defense and it is an enormous advantage knowing every game that the opposing team's number one reciever will be stuck trying to get off Revis Island all game.
Jets' Offense vs. Colts' Defense:
The matchup to watch here are the Jets' running backs Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene vs. Colts' Linebackers Gary Brackett and Clint Sessions. The Jets need to be able to establish the run game because who knows how many times Mark Sanchez will under throw a reciever.
You can definitley expect Braylon Edwards to drop at least two passes in this game and Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis coming off the edge is always scary. So that means the Jets need to be able to run the ball consistently like they have been all year. If only Leon Washington wasn't still hurt; what a three running back corp they would have.
The Jets' offense finds just enough ways to get the ball into the endzone a couple times and Rex Ryan somehow yet again pulls something out of his sleeve and finds a way to out-scheme Peyton Manning and the Colts' offense. Revis gets a pick (the Jets are 7-0 this year when Revis has an interception) and the Jets run their way into the Superbowl.
Vikings' Offense vs. Saints' Defense:
Can he do it? Can Brett Favre take the once quarterbackless Vikings to the Superbowl? My favorite matchup here by far is Brett Favre vs. Darren Sharper. Both were teammates on the Packers for years. After playing for the Packers, both went to the rival Vikings, but they never played with each other on the Vikings.
Can Favre and Sidney Rice get the passing game going against the Saints' young defensive backs (except Sharper, he has been around forever)? I'm not going to lie, Sidney Rice and Favre looked pretty good last week. But this passing game is so inconsistent that who knows which team will show up.
Then you say, well wait a second, if the passing game is not working, the Vikings always have "All Day A Negative Play Peterson". Yes he has 18 touchdowns, but 15 of those are from down and goal to go. So if you are not within 10 yards of scoring a touchdown, chances are AP will be in for another negative two yard gain and with only three 100-yard rushing games this year (Cleveland and Detroit being two of them), I think it is safe to assume another 20 carry, 75 yard game for AP. And you never know when that ball might just slip out.
My last take on the Vikings' offense is tight end Visanthe Shiancoe. HE may catch a touchdown pass when it doesn't matter most. But don't worry: when he catches a three yard pass on the Vikings' second drive of the game to give them a first down, You can bet your life that he will get up, spike the ball, and start acting like he just caught the game winning touchdown in the Super Bowl.
Saints' Offense vs. Vikings' Defense:
Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, and Mike Bell vs. The Vikings' front seven. The Saints' high power pass attack vs. the Vikings' secondary. The Saints' O line is very underrated, only giving up 20 sacks during the regular season. The Vikings have the likes of Jared Allen and the Williams Brothers on the front four.
Jared Allen had 14.5 sacks this year, 7.5 of which came against the Packers. The Vikings aren't playing the Packers. So you say, but wait Jared Allen was a beast against the Cowboys last week. Yes, he was. But that was after Flozell Adams went out with injury and the Cowboys' second string tackle came in. So unless the Saints' left tackle gets hurt, I expect Allen to be a non-factor as usual.
The Williams brothers do a good job of clogging the middle and the Vikings' linebackers are pretty inconsistent without EJ Henderson. Now for the passing game. The Saints' passing game is high powered. The Vikings' secondary is young. They now have their so called 'best defensive back' Antoine Winfield playing nickle. So I don't expect him to cover the likes of Marques Colston or Devery Henderson.
So the Vikings now play a 4-4-3 againt this Saints' passing attack that's not going to work too well. The Vikings better hope Benny Sapp is more worried about actually playing than show boating this week, otherwise it is going to be a long day for the Vikings' pass defense.
There are three things that are certain in life: death, taxes, and Vikings' players watching the Superbowl from thier own homes every year. I don't expect anything to change this year. Farve will show Vikings' fans that even with him they are still the same old Vikings. And if Vikings' fans, should you get any feeling of hope throughout this game, just remember the 2001 NFC Championship: Giants 41, Vikings, goose egg or just remember the name Gary Anderson, and get ready for another Minnesota Meltdown.
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