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ON THE BRINK OF THE REGULAR SEASON, QUESTIONS LOOM

Posted By Sean Eckhardt On Sep 2 2010 @ 12:27 am In Minnesota Vikings | 2 Comments

     With one pretty meaningless game left and just about a week until the regular season the Minnesota Vikings look a little unstable, to say the least.  There are definitely some questions out there in terms of health, but injuries are not the only concern.  Don’t worry though, there are still plenty of reasons to be looking forward to the 2010 campaign.

     First, just a few quick thoughts on the Seahawks game.  Toby Gerhart had another solid outing, looking great between the tackles and showing some more of that quickness that people might have underestimated going in to the draft.  The running game has been a strength of the Vikings for several years now.  Adrian Peterson finally looked like himself in terms of speed , and in an equally encouraging development, he seems to be holding on to the ball.  On the wide receiver front, new additions Javon Walker and Greg Camarillo both made some very nice plays in the passing game.  Hopefully, these two can at least lessen the impact of losing Sidney Rice for at least six weeks after being put on the physically unable to perform list(PUP).  Defensively, Antoine Winfield is simply the best tackling corner in the NFL.  If 2010 first-rounder Chris Cook can continue to learn from this guy, he will be something special.

     The most pressing question is the offensive line.  To be more specific, throughout the preseason protecting the quarterback has been a major problem.  Brett Favre and Tarvaris Jackson look like they are playing football in the park when everyone goes out for a pass and there is nobody left to block anybody.  If the Vikings don’t find a way to block better in the passing game, nobody will have to worry about the depth chart.  Everyone will get a chance to play and you might be looking at Matt Leinart, Daunte Culpepper, or even Jeff George by the end of the season.

     Another big question mark is the Vikings secondary.  How will they adjust to losing Cedric Griffin for six weeks or so, losing Benny Sapp via trade, and bringing in a rookie, Chris Cook, who will be starting for at least six weeks while Griffin is out.  So far, the answers to the defensive backfield questions look promising, but only time spent during the regular season will tell.

     Maybe the biggest concern, and one coaches aren’t supposed to talk about is the schedule.  It is brutal.  The first eight weeks feature road games against the Saints, Jets, Packers, and Patriots.  Minnesota has a couple of tough home games in there as well with Miami and Dallas.  On the good news side, if the Vikings can go in to week 9 with a good record, the schedule looks considerably easier from there.  In addition, some of the injured Vikes like Rice should be back by then.  I have gone on record as saying I think Minnesota is the NFC favorite for the Super Bowl, as long as it is Favre or Jackson under center.  Which leads me back to problem number one, the offensive line.

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