Another week and another win for the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday as they defeated the rival Green Bay Packers 17-14 at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings did indeed get the victory, but it certainly came at a cost.
Minnesota will now be without their starting left tackle Matt Kalil and starting running back Adrian Peterson for a majority of of the games left in the 2016 season. Kalil will miss the remainder of year while Peterson has a small chance to return to the field toward the end of the season.
But injuries happen to every team, every year and they are just part of the adversity that each franchise has to deal with during the course of a season. This is no different for the Vikings, who are not going to let a few road blocks get in the way of their journey to a Super Bowl win at the end of 2016.
DO – Center the offense more around the passing game
Peterson is out and he is not coming back anytime soon, so it is time for Minnesota to place their focus on another aspect of the offense. New quarterback Sam Bradford has barely been with the Vikings for a month, but the team is going to need to rely on his abilities as a passer for their offense to succeed this season.
Luckily for Bradford, Minnesota has plenty of options for him to throw to including wide receiver Stefon Diggs, tight end Kyle Rudolph, and running back Jerick McKinnon among others.
DON’T – Forget that Cam Newton can also throw
What makes the Panthers’ quarterback arguably the most dangerous player in the league right now is not only his ability to run the ball at a high level, but how he can also use his arm to lead his team to a victory.
Currently, Newton ranks second on his team in rushing yards and is the only player on Carolina’s roster to rush for a touchdown this year. But he has also thrown for five touchdowns and his passing yards per game average (273.5) is the currently the highest it has ever been during his NFL career.
DO – Continue to give cornerback Trae Waynes a significant amount of snaps on defense
In his second start of the season, Waynes got off to a great start last Sunday against the Packers. But three quick penalties in the third quarter and the 24-year-old cornerback’s inexperience began to show its ugly head.
Luckily for Waynes, he sealed the game for the Vikings with his interception in the fourth quarter and everyone remembered why Minnesota used a first round pick on this guy a year ago. Although it is looking like fellow cornerback Xavier Rhodes will return to the lineup this weekend in Carolina, the Vikings should still utilize Waynes’ abilities against the Panthers’ tall group of wide receivers.
DON’T – Feel the need to blitz all day long
Just because the Denver Broncos had success two weeks ago giving almost everyone on their chance to blitz Newton does not mean that Minnesota has to do the same.
The Vikings were able to put a ton of pressure on Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers last week by only using a four or five man rush. There is no reason for Minnesota to switch up their defensive strategy this Sunday against an even more dangerous quarterback in Newton.
Plus if the Vikings decided to bring an all-out blitz and Newton avoids the rush, he could easily take the ball and run 70 yards for a touchdown.