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Posted By Sean Eckhardt On Oct 5 2012 @ 12:51 pm In Minnesota Vikings | No Comments

First place.  This is where the Minnesota Vikings find themselves as they enter Week 5 of the NFL season.  If the team wants to stay atop the NFC North, they will have to take care of the Tennessee Titans in the Metrodome on Sunday.  The Titans have struggled this year and sit at 1-3.  On paper, this may look like an easy game for the 3-1 Vikings, but they ought to know better than that.  There is no such thing as an easy win, especially for this Minnesota team.  The Vikings are coming off there first division win in two years and they don’t want to spoil it with a poor performance as they come home to play Tennessee.  Head Coach Leslie Frazier will have them focused and ready to do the things necessary to win on Sunday.

Offensively, the Vikings have really started to come together as a unit.  Adrian Peterson looks to be at or near his old self.  Last week he had his first 100-yd game of the season and he has added 10 receptions out of the backfield during the first four games.  Look for AP to get 20 carries and right around 100 yards on Sunday.  Christian Ponder continues to play mistake free football and he is spreading the ball around nicely.  Last week he got to throw the ball to Jerome Simpson for the first time this year as the WR returned from a 3-game suspension, and I expect to see the two connect several times on Sunday.  The Vikings offense is sitting on a 50/50 balance when you take a look at run/pass ratio.  If that continues, Minnesota should continue to be successful.  Also Tennessee’s defense is near the bottom in almost every category, so if the Vikes can execute properly, they should put up close to 30 points in this game.

On defense the Vikings really have two things to worry about against the Titans.  1) Contain RB Chris Johnson.  Johnson had his best rushing day in some time last week as he went for 141 yards in a loss to the Texans, and he is by far Tennessee’s best weapon.  2) Rattle QB Matt Hasselback.  The Tenn QB came in last week for the injured Jake Locker and looked rusty.  However, with a full week of practice as the starter, I expect to veteran to be well prepared on Sunday.  Jared Allen and the Viking D need to put some pressure on this guy early so they don’t let him establish a rhythm.  He is not a mobile QB, but if you give him time it could be a problem.

The Vikings enter this game as a clear favorite.  They are at home against an inferior opponent and they have momentum after two impressive wins in a row.  Frazier continues to cite the Indy game as a lost opportunity due to lack of focus, so I’m sure he has been on this team throughout the week to make sure nobody is looking past Tennessee.  As long as they come to play, they should win this game by 10-14 points and move to 4-1.

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