Friday, September 15, 2006

Vikings v Panthers Kool-Aided Preview

Week 2

Well, the PKA was accurate in week 1. The Vikings are 1-0 and we here at PKA are also 1-0 (I think we can both go 16-0 if the the Vikes hold up their end of the bargain). Here is how I see week 2's matchup with Carolina breaking down...

The Panthers are TERRIBUL and the Vikes are un beatable!!!

The Trenches - as I stated last week, this will be important in every game this year. Last week it held true as the O-line won the game in the 4th qtr and the D-line made 2 huge plays in the 4th to make sure a Redskin's 1st and goal resulted in only 3 points. This week is no different. The Panthers D-line is better than Washingtons and it is vital that our O-line protects Brad and lets Chester get to the LB level of the Panther defense. Kris Jenkins and Julius Peppers both grade out as the top DT and DE respectively in the NFL. We may not see a better D-line this season. Birk and Hutch should be able to handle the interior with the help of Hicks, but Peppers vs. Marcus Johnson is a key (if not THE key) to our offense being productive on Sunday.

Defensively this is a matchup that we have to win. The Panthers LT Travelle Wharton is out and their C Justin Hartwig is also likely not playing. RT Jordan Gross moves to LT and Todd Fordham starts at RT. This jumbled O-line is something that we HAVE to take advantage of. I'm hoping that our defensive scheme will involve giving a solid rush to the right side of their line and getting in Delhomme's face.

The Pretty Boys - Offensive skill positions are a little more important to this week's game. If Steve Smith plays he is obviously the key to their offense. Keeping him to under 200 yds might be a good idea this time around. I think better scheming and not just putting Smoot on an island with Smith will help a ton, but he has to be slowed down. On our side of the ball Troy Williamson has quickly become a factor. It was obvious that Brad looked his way early and often. It appears as though he is a favorite target, BUT Troy has to hang on to the ball or Brad will find a new catching partner. If Troy can get down field, make big 3rd down catches and actually hang on to the ball that will continue to open things up for the rest of the passing game and Chester on the ground. I wouldn't expect quite as many carries for Chester this week but hopefully he can still bang out 80-90 yds on 25 carries this week.

The Ball Hawks - Last week Carolina was held to 65 total yards rushing and were 2/12 on 3rd down. I'm guessing those are 2 things they are looking to correct this week. With the reshuffled O-line, hopefully they will not be able to get that ground game going and they'll be stuck in 3rd and long early and often. If that is the case the LBs and DBs need to turn last weeks stats into a trend. I feel that EJ had a solid game last week and he needs to continue that this week.

Keys to the game

  1. Shutting down the Panther run game. The more 3rd and long situations and the quicker we can make them 1 dimensional the better for us. At that point we can key on Smith and attack their wounded O-Line.
  2. Peppers vs. Marcus Johnson - I feel pretty good about the rest of our O-line vs. their D-line matchups, but this one makes me nervous. All week we've heard about the left side of our line, well Marcus now is the time for you to stand up and point out that our entire O-line is good, not just the left side.
  3. Brad's trust in Troy - Brad is clearly looking Troy's direction and Troy needs to reward him with receptions, first downs and touchdowns. Dropping a perfectly thrown ball that goes right through your hands is unacceptable. Troy has the choice to be a fan favorite or the complete goat.
  4. DBs vs. Steve Smith - the healthier Smith is the higher this moves up the list. Smith is very good and will make plays, but a TD and 201 yds on 11 catches (or 12 for 218 and 2 TDs vs. Chicago) are unacceptable and will secure a road win for the Panthers.
I know we are not supposed to look too far ahead, but this game is actually really huge. Carolina is wounded and on the road. We are playing well and completely healthy. This win (paired with the WAS win) really will come into play at the end of the season when we are compiling playoff scenarios. Washington and possibly Carolina are teams we could be vying for a wild card spot with. It is WAY too early to know who is a wild card team and who is a division winner, but it is never too early to rack up NFC wins to put us in a better position in December when that is all we will talk about. Every win is important, but head to head and NFC record will be a factor down the road so take care of business when you have the opportunity.

Verdict - Longwell has 3 FGs, but the game winning score will be a 4 qtr TD.
MN - 23 Car - 20

1 comment:

John said...


Nice preview. I didn't see the game, but the recaps I've seen make your preview look like it was a very solid and accurate prognostication.

Well done, and pass the Kool-Aid!

Kool Aid Drinkers