NFL Picks Week 1: 5 Reasons Minnesota Vikings Can Upset San Diego Chargers

Ryan GuillemetteCorrespondent ISeptember 10, 2011

NFL Picks Week 1: 5 Reasons Minnesota Vikings Can Upset San Diego Chargers

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    The Vikings will be playing a solid team in San Diego Changers at Qualcomm Stadium for their opening week. The big question facing the Vikings will be their offense. They are going to need key production from key players, Adrian Peterson, Donovan McNabb and Percy Harvin in order to have a chance against this strong team.

    The Vikings will also need to put a lot of pressure on Charger quarterback Philip Rivers which will fall upon the shoulders of Jared Allen who is looking to make up for a shaky last season.  

    San Diego is a slow starting team which could allow the Vikings to pull of an upset. They also may have an edge if the Chargers take the Vikings to lightly.  

    This is going to be a great game as Adrian Peterson looks to break his own record of most yards in a game against the team he broke it against before.  

Adrian Peterson

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    Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had a huge game against the San Diego Chargers in 2007 surpassing Jamal Lewis' of the Baltimore Ravens record of 253 yards by setting his own NFL record for 296 yards in a single game. This year he has his sights set on 300.  

    Peterson told the Associated Press, "When I look back, I missed some opportunities in the first half, but that's what it's all about. Sometimes you start fast and finish strong," Peterson said Thursday.

    "It's all about making the adjustments at halftime and I felt like we made some good adjustments and came out, stayed true to it and continued to pound up front, pound up front."

    Peterson is going to look to have another strong start by powering through the Chargers defense with the speed, power and playmaker moves that he is known for.  

Jared Allen & the Vikings Defense

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    The Chargers line is going to have to contain a powerful Viking Defense. After having a mediocre last season players like Jared Allen are going to have very strong season. The Vikings defense is going to have to do everything in their power to force Philip Rivers out of his comfort zone.  

    Rivers is a dangerous quarterback who can quickly put up big points. Jared Allen and the rest of the Vikings defensive line are going to need to force turnovers in order to keep their offense on the field.  

    The Vikings secondary is going to have to cover receivers Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd and tight end Antonio Gates. All of these guys are big and have the ability to make big plays especially with Rivers throwing them the ball.

    Pressure on Rivers is going to be essential in this game.  

San Diego Is a Slow Starting Team

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    The San Diego Chargers are a notoriously slow starting team. Last season the Chargers started 2-5, they opened 2-3 2009 and 2008 and 1-3 in 2007. The Vikings may benefit from the slow starting Chargers. Another factor that the Vikings may benefit from is the Chargers schedule.  

    The Chargers are playing the New England Patriots in Week 2. This could play in the Vikings favor if the Chargers try to overlook the Vikings as an easy win.  

    The Vikings need to start off the season with some key wins if they want to be successful season.  

Donovan McNabb

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    Donovan McNabb will be making his debut for the Vikings which should be a big test for his success with the Vikings. After a rocky season with the Washington Redskins McNabb is going to have to produce solid numbers if he wants to keep up with a rising Rivers.  

    The Vikings are putting their trust in a veteran quarterback who is on his way out. McNabb lost his starting job late last season throwing 14 touchdowns and a career-high 15 picks. Granted McNabb has a lot more offensive weapons with the Vikings.  

    Head coach Leslie Frazier is very confident that McNabb will be able to bring the Vikings together saying, "He's been great with his teammates. He's done a great job picking up a new offense, and really improved all throughout the preseason.

    His interaction with his teammates has been great for our team chemistry, which is one of the reasons I feel good about our football team.

Percy Harvin

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    Viking receiver Percy Harvin is going to have to produce if McNabb wants options against the Chargers. Harvin has been plagued by injury over the course of his career, and it will be very important for him to stay on the field for this game.  

    McNabb is going to need solid receivers (a position were the Vikings are shaky) if the Vikings are going to have any options other then Adrian Peterson.

    Harvin went for 975 yards last season and is going to have to have a great game if the Vikings want a win.