As weird as it sounds, it’s true; the Oakland Raiders are the darlings of the NFL. With the unfortunate demise of their controversial owner Al Davis, the signing of the retired Carson Palmer, and the team’s first real competitive feel in almost a decade, the Raiders have garnered the attention of fans all around the league. The bad news for them is that they are coming to Minnesota on Sunday to face a 2-7 Vikings’ team that is anything but a sucker for sentiment.
Minnesota is just two years removed from an NFC Championship loss. On top of that, the Viking’s best players, RB Adrian Peterson and DE Jared Allen, are having their best seasons ever. The main reason that the Vikings are 2-7 and not closer to 6-3 is the Donovan McNabb experiment at QB. That of course was a failure.
Christian Ponder is at the controls now, and for the most part Minnesota has looked like a good team with him under center. They are still lacking a #1 receiver, but aside from that they have looked very solid. Last week they were blown out by the Packers, however, they are not alone in that category. They fell behind early and that is not something this team can do. Ponder and Co. are done if they fall behind by 2-3 touchdowns.
Against Oakland the biggest concern for Minnesota is matching up with the Raiders’ offensive guys speed wise. I would hope that with Leslie Frazier being a defensive guy, this won’t be a problem. The other thing that will help is Allen and the rest of the Viking’s D applying pressure to Carson Palmer. He is not a mobile QB and Allen is the best D-lineman in the NFL today. If Palmer is sacked 5+ times, the Vikings win.
The Minnesota Vikings are not going to win the NFC North this year. That is a fact. The team is going to win some games though. Christian Ponder continues to surprise me and Adrian Peterson is the best running back that the NFL has seen since Walter Payton. AP runs with a passion not seen in years, actually decades. I know people will call out names like Emmitt and Barry, but those guys weren’t in the same league as Payton and Peterson when it comes to physical running. The bad news for Viking fans is that the team will not make the playoffs this year. The good news is that they will win this week and be back in the postseason next year. Minn 27 Oak 17.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).