5 Gameday Predictions, Week 3 vs. Cleveland.
I will try to make this a weekly occurrence.
Here are my 5 predictions for today's game.
1) Time to ponder a change at QB?
Frazier and Co. will have a very hard time defending Ponder as the starting QB after today's game. The Browns are not a very good team, but they do have a solid defense, and I just don't think Ponder is the guy.
2) AD unleashed.
Peterson is too talented to be stopped like he has been. The overall numbers look okay, but not up to Peterson's standards, especially when you take into account that 78 yards came on the first play of the season. He's pissed off with the way he's played so far, and an angry and motivated AP is a scary thought for any defense, even one as good as Cleveland's. He will put up big numbers today.
3) Phase 3 will be the key.
I think this game will be closer than many think. No, the Browns are not a good team to start with, and now they are on their 3rd string QB and have brought in Willis McGahee at RB to replace traded Trent Richardson. But, the offensive style that Musgrave employs, along with our passive, bend but don't break Tampa 2 defense, virtually ensures that even the least talented team we play is going to be able to eat clock and keep games close.
Therefore I think today's game will be decided by the special teams. Whoever wins that battle will likely win.
The Vikings will need some big kicks by Walsh, and much better coverage than last week against.
4) The TE/RB passing game will continue to be our kryptonite.
The Vikings have historically been susceptible to being destroyed by opposing TE's and RB's in the passing game in this Tampa 2 defense. That trend has continued this year, last week we were picked apart by Bennett and Forte, and in week 1 it was Reggie Bush. Pettitgrew was also open all day in week 1, but luckily for us Stafford doesn't trust him, so he didn't kill us.
I'm not sure the Browns have any weapons out of the backfield in the passing game on the Bush/Forte level, but Jordan Cameron will have a monster day against our D.
5) Hey, a win is a win, right?
I think the Vikes get out with a win today. They are the more talented team, and are at home. But, I'm not sure it's a win that has us feeling very good. It will be an "ugly" win, and will be close.
24-20 is my prediction.