With kickoff minutes away, here are a few final thoughts about today’s game…
Vikings must tackle well
San Diego saw how well the Vikings played the run last week versus Detroit, but they also saw how well the San Francisco 49ers ran it against the Vikings in Week 1. Expect the Chargers to test the Vikings run defense early in this game. Also, QB Philip Rivers is a high percentage passer and he knows the Vikings pass rush is ready to tee off with the home crowd helping its cause. That means we could see a short passing game to neutralize the crowd noise/pass rush combo. With all of that being said, it’s important for the Vikings to rally and tackle well so those short completions and runs don’t turn into explosive plays.
Ball security in focus today
Adrian Peterson got his groove back last week against Detroit, carrying the ball 29 times and churning out 134 rushing yards and 192 total yards. Lost in that production and in the Vikings win, though, is the fact that Peterson fumbled the ball three times – one that he recovered, one that was negated by a Lions penalty, and one that was recovered by the Lions. The Chargers surely saw that on tape in their study of the Vikings offense this week and you can be sure the Chargers will be poking and raking at the football today.
Chargers no-huddle/muddle huddle can pose challenges
Rivers executes beautifully a no-huddle/muddle huddle offense a majority of the time. This yields many benefits for the offense. It keeps them in rhythm, it maintains matchup advantages because the defense doesn’t have time to substitute, it more easily tires out a pass rush if there’s a hurry-up element thrown in and it can wear out crowd noise if drives are extended. The Vikings can take this arrow from the Chargers quiver by forcing incompletions and creating negative plays in the running game.
4 starts questionable in this game
We won’t know until 90 minutes prior to kickoff whether four starters in this game will suit up. For the Vikings, it’s LGBrandon Fusco who is questionable with a concussion. For the Chargers, TE Ladarius Green (concussion), RG DJ Fluker (ankle) and CB Jason Verrett (foot) are questionable.