Week 11: Another Statement Game For The Vikings

Kobina TaylorContributor INovember 15, 2008

Last week was important for the Vikings.  An opportunity to jump ahead of a hated division rival while simultaneously proving legitimacy and getting Coach Childress his first win against the Packers.

Honestly though, the Vikings can silence a lot of critics this week by riding in to Raymond James Stadium and grinding out a win.  And when I say grind, I mean grind.

Both these defensive units are overall slightly superior to the respective offensive units they'll be facing. 

Although Tampa Bay has a deep threat in Galloway, they do a lot of short passing which is just fine with the Minnesota pass defense.  It is essential that Minnesota prevents Tampa Bay from sustaining long drives.  Keeping Garcia from extending plays is also important, the defensive line must contain.  Also, Minnesota's run defense should do fine against a injury riddled RB corps, although Carnell Williams may see his first action this season.

Berrian's impact will be severely limited against a stout Cover two that keeps big plays in front of them.  Shiancoe, Wade, and Taylor could have sizeable impacts in the middle and short passing game.  Peterson will have to gain his yards in chunks here and there because not many teams have better run discipline than Tampa Bay.  Its very likely that Peterson may have only 1-2 10+ yard runs, if any.  But if anyone can change the trend, it will be Peterson.

The Vikings have lost the last five at Tampa Bay, and while they are clearly underdogs going into this game, securing the win isn't impossible.  Smart play, and the absence of dumb mistakes should help Minnesota keep on the winning path.

Prediction:  Vikings 28 Buccaneers 20