Wednesday, January 2, 2013
A Sight to See: Playoff Bound
The Vikings were faced with a situation that many wouldn't have expected entering the 2012 season. Win the season finale vs. the Green Bay Packers and a spot is clinched in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs. The Vikings were given very little chance to win the game, but proved that they are a legitimate playoff team. The Packers have the most potent offensive attack in the league and showed this often in the game on Sunday. The Vikings response was surprising as they matched the points with offensive scores.
For the first time this season, Christian Ponder proved he can play at a high level in the NFL. I hope this trend will continue and the Vikings will defeat football immortality at one of the toughest venues in the NFL. I was very impressed with Ponder's poise and the way he completed passes from every angle of the field. The 24 yard connection to Michael Jenkins in the 4th quarter was cold blooded. The Packers dropped into a zone and Ponder recognized Jenkins would be wide open for the first down. These types of throws are the ones we have been waiting for Ponder to make all season. He is developing in front of us and it is a sight to see. I can't wait to see how he responds to his first postseason game in the NFL.
Adrian Peterson is the greatest player in NFL history and is the absolute all time greatest Minnesota Viking. I understand he missed Eric Dickerson's rushing record by 9 yards. "All Day" would rather win for his team compared to one individual accolade. I believe he will have a similar performance at Lambeau much like in Week 13 of the season. He is bursting through holes with a vicious edge and cannot be stopped. Packers Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers was stacking the box with 8 players, sending the safety to the line of scrimmage and still couldn't stop Adrian Peterson. The colder the forecast, the more it favors the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card matchup this Saturday. The Packers aren't built to play outdoors in January, but our favorite football team has one of the best rushing attacks in the league. When the Packers made their run to the Super Bowl two seasons ago, they were in warmer climates where a passing attack is favored.
How can we forget about defensive end Everson Griffen's performance in this contest. His three sacks and his impact over the entire season, has been key to the Vikings success this season. The only concern I express about the Vikings is their secondary. Antoine Winfield may miss Saturday's game with a broken hand. He is a huge cog to the Vikings backend success in the secondary. We could see his absence clearly when Marcus Sherels was lined up against the likes of Jordy Nelson and James Jones. If Antoine Winfield is out for this contest, look for Josh Robinson to receive repetitions in the dime and nickel packages. Coach Frazier felt that he was too inexperienced to move inside, but with an entire week of practice he should be able to be successful in the game this Saturday.
Overall, I can hardly believe we are in the playoffs and the success we are having against elite competition. The Vikings have faced off against 9 teams that have at least 10 wins. They have been tested and are ready for the next challenge at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI. The last two Super Bowl champions were six seeds in the playoffs. We cannot rule anything out with the success this team has displayed and the chemistry this team has shown this season. Despite the outcome in the playoffs, I'm proud of the progress our team has made and feel like we are one of the more "underrated" teams in the NFL. We are playing great football at the right time and that's all that matters in league where anything can happen.
Let's let the chips fall where they may and see where this Vikings team can go in the playoffs.
Skol Vikings!! Win Again!!!