Minnesota Vikings vs San Diego Chargers: 5 keys to victory


The Minnesota Vikings are scheduled to take on the San Diego Chargers from TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday.

Both teams come into this game with a 1-1 record and are looking to establish themselves as contenders in their respective divisions. San Diego’s uphill climb against teams like the Broncos and Chiefs are admirable, while the Vikings are looking to unseat the Green Bay Packers, who have won the NFC North 4 years in a row.

The Chargers will not be an easy opponent for the Minnesota Vikings. They have a powerful passing offense and a defense that is young and growing. In order for the boys in purple to get a win on Sunday, I have put together my 5 keys to victory for the Vikings. Here they are, in almost no particular order:

Sep 20, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) catches a pass against the Detroit Lions for 49 yards in the second quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

RUN THE FOOTBALL!  Seriously, pound them silly up front. So far this season, the Chargers have given up 4.7 yards per carry to opposing teams (tied for 5th most in the NFL). And so far, those teams have featured a rookie running back (Lions’ Abdullah) and a disappointing Bengals group of backs. They have yet to see someone like Adrian Peterson, which means a big game might be in store for #28.

  • USE PLAY ACTION. San Diego has a bad habit of over-adjusting when getting dominated on the ground. Because of that, they have already given up 5 passing touchdowns in two games (tied for 3rd most in the NFL). It also opens things up a little ways down the field, which is why the Chargers are giving up 8.2 yards per passing play (10th most in the NFL).
  • PROTECT TEDDY BRIDGEWATER. So far this season, the Chargers have only registered one sack in their two games and have allowed a QBR of 103.3 (10th worst in the NFL). Even though the Minnesota Vikings have a makeshift offensive line that might include just one starter from last season on Sunday, they should be able to keep San Diego from making Teddy’s day miserable.
  • Sep 20, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) passes the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals in the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati defeated San Diego 24-19. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

    RATTLE PHILIP RIVERS.  The Chargers have found success in 2015 by slinging the football around.  Rivers is averaging 305 yards passing per game (4th best in the NFL) and is completing an NFL best 80.9% of his passes.  If he has time, he can pick apart this Minnesota Vikings defense.  However, San Diego has also allowed Rivers to be sacked 6 times so far this year and he has thrown three interceptions, which proves that the offensive line is a weakness that must be exploited.

  • WIN THE SPECIAL TEAMS BATTLE. While I firmly believe that football games and won and lost in the trenches, the team can’t continue to miss extra points and give up good field position.  The game will come down to two things: field position and takeaways. Jeff Locke will need another solid punting game and big returns from Marcus Sherels and Cordarrelle Patterson would be huge in helping this team win.
  • Those are my 5 keys to victory.  What else would you add or change from this list? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

    Next: Minnesota Vikings 2015 Game By Game Previews

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