Minnesota Vikings hoping for déjà vu on Saturday
It’s officially a grudge match this Saturday night. The Minnesota Vikings were able to fend of the Green Bay Packers and advance to the Wild Card round of the playoffs where they will face… the Green Bay Packers. With history in the making, Adrian Peterson fell just nine yards shy of the all time single-season rushing record, but the Vikings came up big last Sunday against an offensively potent Packers team. The Vikings are looking for déjà vu on Saturday night, and here’s why they’ll see it:
The defense: Aaron Rodgers is always going to get his, and the stat line from Sunday shows this, but watching the game told a different story. The Vikings sacked Rodgers five times and pressured him constantly, most notably late in the 4th quarter when the game was on the line. The Vikings also continued their excellent run-stopping (albeit against a poor rushing team) and will have no problem doing so again in this weekend’s rematch
Blair Walsh: If kickers were considered for awards he’d be an ROY and an MVP candidate. Dude is automatic. Walsh made 35-38 of his field goals including all ten from over 50 yards. Kicking matters in the playoffs.
Momentum: Don’t be fooled, momentum carries over into the playoffs; just ask the NY Giants. It’s especially important this week because neither team should have to adjust their game plan too much. The Vikings can rest up while doing mental reps all week and still have the edge.
Adrian Peterson: This goes without saying, really. In two games against the Packers he has run for over 400 yards. There is nothing the Packers can try on defense that they haven’t already. Look for AP to run all over the Packers’ defense yet again. If Christian Ponder can be a semblance of himself from last week, it will be easy running for the should-be MVP.
The Vikings rode their dark horse all the way to the playoffs and they’re not going away just yet. Expect a close game, and a Vikings victory. Just like last week all over again.
Ryan Jasurda is an NFL writer for TPF and can be contacted at RJasurda@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.