New York Jets Week 14 Know Thy Enemy: Minnesota Vikings
Nov 30, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterbackTeddy Bridgewater
(5) looks on during the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Panthers 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
As the Jets sputter towards the end of a terrible season they face two consecutive winnable games against Minnesota and Tennessee. The Jets’ ineptitude is contrasted by Rex Ryan’s excellent record against rookie quarterbacks of which Vikings’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is. So I asked Adam Carlson, of the Viking’s FanSided site The Viking Age, about the Vikings and how this game will play out.
Question 1 – What do you think of Teddy Bridgewater’s development this season? Is he a future franchise quarterback?
Bridgewater has been thrust into a spot that he wasn’t ready for. He’s dealing with HUGE holes on the offensive line, backups starting at WR and RB, and was without his starting TE for most of the season. Despite that, Teddy is showing that he’s got the skills to be a franchise QB. He’s patient in the pocket and can complete high percentage throws. I was a big fan of his at Louisville, so I’m glad to see that his game has transitioned to the NFL level. With Teddy Bridgewater, there is hope where past high draft pick QB’s didn’t give that kind of excitement. It’s a nice feeling.
Oct 8, 2014; Conroe, TX, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson watches as attorney Rusty Hardin (not pictured) speaks to the media outside of the Montgomery county courthouse. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Question 2 – Would Adrian Peterson be welcomed back with open arms should he win his appeal? Will he ever play another down as a Viking? Should he?
I’m not sure of what the fan response to Adrian Peterson’s return would be. Folks seem to be very polarized on whether or not they would like to see the him come back to the Vikings. Personally, I’ve moved on from him. I’m ready for the Vikings to prepare as if he will never return to the team. I don’t think we’ll see Peterson on the field this year, and to be honest, I’m fine with him not returning at all.
Sep 28, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes (29) breaks up a pass intended for Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) during the third quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Falcons 41-28. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Question 3 – What are the Vikings’ biggest strengths?
Strangely, the pass defense is a strength of this team. After statistically being one of the worst secondaries in the NFL last year, Josh Robinson and Xavier Rhodes have taken massive steps toward being big time defenders in the NFL. When you add in a young Harrison Smith and developing Robert Blanton, this is a pass defense that is actually pretty scary to opposing offenses.
Nov 23, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings tackleMatt Kalil
(75) blocks against the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Question 4 – What are their biggest areas of concern?
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It’s the offensive line. The left side of the line has been the weak link, with the constantly struggling Matt Kalil and Charlie Johnson always seeming to disappoint. Then, the Vikings lost both starters on the right side of the line due to injury. Both RT Phil Loadholt and Brandon Fusco tore their pectoral muscles and have left backups in their place. It’s a scary place to be when you’re hoping for these guys to run or pass block.
Nov 9, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Percy Harvin (16) rushes against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Question 5 – What is your prediction for Sunday, including score?
I expect the Vikings and Jets to play a well contested game on Sunday. The Jets could find some success on the ground against a struggling Minnesota run defense. It’ll be interesting to see Percy Harvin against the team that drafted him, but that should be a minor story in a game about the development of two young quarterbacks. I do think the Vikings walk out of this one with a win, but it will be closer than a lot of folks think. 24-17 Minnesota is my prediction.