Both Vikings and Panthers are 1-3.
A Look at the Vikings—
Vikings defense: Jared Allen; DE Brian Robertson just signed a contract extension. Robertson is utilized both as an inside and outside run defender. He blocks the run well. Both will try to get after QB Cam Newton. Ideally, Vikings defense will try to force Carolina in 3rd and long situations.
Vikings offense: Will look to their strength in running the ball with A.Peterson. Vikings will try and stick with the run. Jerome Felton is healthy and will look to split reps with A. Peterson. Vikings will look to take pressure off of QB Matt Cassell.
For now, the Vikings are using M. Cassell. Vikings recently signed QB J. Freeman. QB C. Ponder is hurt. Ponder’s struggled a lot. The team for now is behind Cassell after recent win against the Steelers.
Vikings state that the Panthers are a solid team but things have not gone their way for this year. Frazier: “This is a huge football game for our team.”
One of the major problems Carolina has and was pointed out by the Vikings is the dropped pass—dropping the ball.
Another problem? Cam is not escaping the pocket and taking off running with the ball as much as he used to. Defense’s are dialing up ‘gut pressure’ (LB’s wait and utilize blocks to blitz the QB). Cam’s decision to not get rid of the ball has affected the offense.
Vikings are aware of the stout defense of Carolina. Labeling it as Rivera-style (i.e. old-Bears defense). “It causes a lot of problems.” Musgrave compliments Carolina’s front-four and linebackers, “They’ve really played well up to this point.” “Their secondary is very solid too.” Musgrave: “They’ve got a good defense. Well coached. It will be a challenge.” Frazier: “They’re playing good football. They’re a formidable foe. We’ll have our work cut out for us.”
Vikings Possible impact player WR- Rudolph
The Vikings are looking forward to the game and hoping for a loud stadium, making it difficult for Carolina. The Vikings are coming off a victory and are trying to continue the success. The Vikings are also coming off of a bye and are “well rested.”
Both teams are trying to get back into the division race and play playoff-football. Trying to get back to .500 (i.e. 3-3). Both teams got a Win before their bye. Unfortunately, for Carolina, they are coming off a loss. The Vikings are coming off a win.
Both teams are looking to play well and gain the momentum. Both teams are looking to improve and take advantage of opportunities. The team that can get a win is the team that will have success in placing individual players in position to make a play and have the capability and coaching to get the job done.
The Vikings have struggled to stop teams on 3rd down conversions. Vikings have attributed lack of success to being out of place, and missing assignments.
Players are continuing to learn their role. CB Josh Robinson is going thru a “learning curve,” playing the nickel. The Vikings have given up “big plays” in the past few weeks. The defense has not played the rush well and the secondary has not covered well.
DC Williams on Cam Newton: “You’re going to feel his presence out there—with him throwing and running the football. The Vikings haven’t played a mobile QB yet this year. DC Williams: “He’s a different type of mobile QB.” Frazier: “The more football Cam plays, the better he gets.” “He’s on track to be an outstanding pro in our business.”
The biggest news on the Vikings injury report comes in the form of Blair Walsh , who will be questionable for Sunday’s game with a left hamstring issue.
“We’re going to list him as questionable just because of that tightness,” said Head Coach Leslie Frazier. “Not sure how he’s going to be. We need to see some things before the game but he should be able to go. Just the air on the side of caution, were going to list him as questionable for the game.”
TE Rhett Ellison (knee) is also questionable for the Vikings, though Frazier was optimistic that he’d return to the lineup after missing two games with a knee injury suffered in week two vs. Chicago.
All others on the injury report for the Vikings are probable: Chris Cook (knee), Christian Ponder (rib),Jamarca Sanford (hamstring), Adrian Peterson (not injury related), Joe Webb (illness) and Kevin Williams (knee).
For Carolina, DT Colin Cole (shoulder), S Quintin Mikell (ankle) and TE Greg Olsen (foot) are all probable. RB Kenjon Barner (foot), DT Dwan Edwards (hamstring), S Robert Lester (hamstring) are doubtful for Sunday, while CB D.J. Moore (knee) is out.
Written by: Phillip Boyce