Minnesota Vikings 2011: The Biggest Concern for Every Regular Season Game

Ray TannockSenior Analyst IAugust 18, 2011

Minnesota Vikings 2011: The Biggest Concern for Every Regular Season Game

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    Each regular season game this year is unique in its own way, but each game also comes with its own distinct concern.

    Today, we're going to look at what could be the biggest concern for each regular season game, whether it be a road contest or one at home.

    A contest that has a specific detail to mention or something more, we'll try to pin-point the biggest concern for every regular season game and give it to you here today.

    Let's take a look.

On the Road Against Rivers and Company

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    This could be considered a double issue in the sense that the Vikings were horrible on the road last year, and will need to reverse last year's performance.

    But they will also have to deal with the three-headed monster in Phillip Rivers, Antonio Gates and Vicent Jackson.

    And that's not even mentioning the RBBC the Chargers will deploy or Patrick Crayton and Malcom Floyd as the other receivers.

    That's one giant concern.

A Youthful Uprising?

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    This young Tampa team looked pretty good last year and look even better this year.

    It was easier to defend against Freeman last season due to the majority of his plays being ran out of shotgun, but this season he will play far more under center, and the Bucs already look tight.

    I believe TE Kellen Winslow will be the other major concern here.


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    The good news here is that there is one other team that Megatron has burned more than the Vikings, and that is the Green Bay Packers.

    So there's hope, right?

    The Lions will also feature a new three-wide set with Burleson and rookie Titus Young which is a concern for the secondary.

Matt's "Cassel"

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    The Chiefs are an extremely difficult team to beat on their own grounds going 7-2 at home last season.

    But what also makes this team difficult to beat at home is the fans, which always seem to find a way to disrupt signals, and opposing focus.

    If the Vikings can pre-snap without issue they should have a fighting chance.

    Let's also remember just how efficient Matt Cassel is at home and what that could translate into.

The New Redbirds

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    The Vikings will undoubtedly have their hands full with Larry Fitzgerald, but this team as a whole will be vastly different from last year's version and the version they defeated in OT last season.

    With the addition of QB Kevin Kolb, a re-tooled offensive line and totally improved defense, the Cardinals look a lot better than many thought they were going to look this season.

    It may just come down to another overtime situation.

Another Day in Chicago?

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    The Vikings seem to matchup well with this version of the Bears, but if I had to pick out one concern, it would be the re-tooling of the passing game.

    I don't see the Vikings having too much trouble covering these guys, but I also know what the Bears plan to do this year, and that is "deploy the fleet" so to speak.

    There will be a lot of options running around out there, and that could stretch the D just a bit beyond their means at times.

Hosting the Champs

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    This will be no easy feat, and the biggest concern is the most obvious: the passing game.

    The Packers will actually be BETTER on paper this season too with the return of Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley which makes matters worse.

    It will be a huge test for the Vikings.

Williiams and Stewart LLC

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    The Panthers are likely to feature their potent ground assault in favor of passing the ball against Minnesota which is a pretty big concern considering just who's in the backfield for Carolina.

    The last meeting (2009) the Panthers burned the Vikings for 124 yards on the ground and a single score on 40 carries (25 my Stewart and six by Williams).

A Visit to Lambeau...in November?

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    If this isn't a concern then I don't know what is.

    Yes, these two teams are completely seasoned to handle the cold weather, but we all know how difficult it can be to beat Green Bay at home in the winter.

    Lambeau is always a concern at this time of year.

Bring on Oakland!

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    OK, the fans may be scary, but the real concern I believe will be that dangerously talented ground game led by Darren McFadden.

    McFadden is elusive, powerful and has a good amount of seed when he hits the open field which may be a concern for Minnesota.

    At least the Vikings are home!

Where to Begin With Atlanta?

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    Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones, Michael Turner, the entire starting linebacker corp. Did I miss anything?

    This team is built to not only reach the Super Bowl but possibly win it all, and there is no real definitive concern outside of the collective team itself.

The Kyle Orton Dilema

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    Two straight season of over 3,000 passing yards is what Orton will bring BACK to Minnesota when the Vikings face the Broncos.

    But the issue with Orton is the fact that he seemingly picks apart any defense he faces regardless of how good they may be.

    The major concern here will be whether or not the Vikings can shut down Orton early before he has a chance to get things going.

A Date in Detroit

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    The Lions are poised to be a far better team this year than in previous seasons, and it is anticipated that they will be red hot toward the back half of the 2011 season.

    Right when Minnesota comes rolling into town.

    The Vikings major concern in this meeting will be getting to Stafford early and disrupting EVERYTHING he tries to do, while also dealing with a defensive core that will be playing at a really high level.

    Good luck with this one!

Pick Your Poison With New Orleans

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    I think if the Saints are able to get the passing game going early in the season, it could actually open the door for the ground game, which COULD be the biggest concern here.

    The Saints have a plethora of receivers and a plethora of running backs, which theoretically means they Vikings could face a ton of fresh legs throughout this contest.

    Fatigue could be a concern here.

A Visit With Some Old Freinds

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    Team versus team, I dont't see much of a concern, but the media hype surrounding this game could wind up playing that role.

    When a player returns to his former team, there is always some hype that surrounds the event, but sometimes also acts as an interference to the team, which I hope will not be the case when Minnesota travels to Washington.

The Final Act!

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    The biggest concern?

    How about the possibility that the Bears could be playing this game for a chance to go to the postseason, which will inevitably up the ante in this contest.

    But for the Vikings, they could have the chance to play the spoiler against their heated divisional rivals, which is all the more sweeter for the teams and the fans.

    Either way, this contest will be a down and dirty dogfight, with the major concern being the Bears as a collective team possibly fighting for their lives.