VikesCentric is written by Twin Cities football writers Bo Mitchell of SportsData, Arif Hasan of Vikings Territory, Aj Mansour, who hosts Minnesota Vikings Overtime on KFAN, and Joe Oberle a long-time Minnesota based writer. The VikesCentric crew crunches numbers, watches video and isn't shy about saying what's on their minds.

VikesCentric: Brinkley, Titans QBs and the dome

Posted by: under Vikings, Vikings defense, E.J. Henderson Updated: October 5, 2012 - 1:59 AM

Time to break out a new feature here at VikesCentric – we'll call it the Friday 3-and-out. Sure, that name has a negative connotation for the offense, but let's look at the glass as half-full and think about the 3-and-outs forced by the Vikings defense this year. Three quick plays and the opponents are back on the bench. In the same spirit, the Friday 3-and-out will offer three quick-hitting opinions about the state of the Purple, then get you on your way to your weekend preparations for the big game. 

1. Jasper Brinkley has been the Vikings MSP. That's Most Surprising Player, for if not for Brinkley's seemingly out-of-nowhere performance this year, 3-1 could easily be 1-3, if not worse. Brinkley's previous moment in the sun came in his rookie season, when he stepped into the starting lineup in place of the injured E.J. Henderson late in the magical 2009 Favreapalooza and didn't embarrass himself too much. He returned to the anonymous world of special teams in 2010, then sat out all of last year with a hip injury. But he's filled the Vikings' middle linebacker spot admirably this year, even taking over nickel duties when that other Henderson kid sat out with a concussion the last two weeks. He's never been the most athletic guy on the field, but he's been able to get deep enough to disrupt the passing game in the Cover-2 (something Erin Henderson failed to do on that TD pass to Reggie Wayne in Week 2) and posted a career-high 10 tackles last week in the win at Detroit. That's about as much as the Vikings could have hoped for out of a fifth-round draft choice in his fourth year as a pro. 

2. The Vikings didn't necessarily catch a break with Jake Locker sitting out Sunday. Yeah, he's the Titans' starting quarterback, but that's mainly because the Titans know they're not going anywhere this year so they might as well build for the future and see what they've got in Locker. Instead, the Vikings will face Matt Hasselbeck, a savvy veteran who will be a test for a young secondary that hasn't faced a quarterback more experienced than Alex Smith yet this year. One of Locker's strengths is his ability to keep defenses on their toes by running the ball, but it's not like the Titans were going to game-plan much in the way of a ground game against the Vikings' stout rush defense. Their best hope to win is to protect the quarterback, let him sit in the pocket and try to pick apart Chris Cook and Josh Robinson on the outside. That's not Locker's strength, but Hasselbeck just might be up to the task. 

3. The dome will play a big role on Sunday. Not necessarily the crowd noise – Hasselbeck's presence in the Titans' backfield probably mitigates that to some extent. But have you checked out the weekend forecast? We could climb all the way back into the mid-50s by gametime, but then again, given Minnesota's notorious weather swings, we could be trudging through snow by then. Regardless, this will be the first time this season that fans will be thankful for that glorious Teflon roof. Stay toasty, my friends. 

Patrick Donnelly is a Senior Editor at SportsData, a contributor to the 2012 Vikings Yearbook, and has covered the Vikings for FOXSportsNorth.com, Viking Update and the Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter at @donnelly612.

 

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Tampa 1 Top 7th Inning
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 93 4th Qtr 0:39
Chicago 86
Cleveland 2:30 PM
Houston
Golden State 5:00 PM
Boston
Philadelphia 5:00 PM
Indiana
Portland 5:00 PM
Sacramento
Charlotte 5:00 PM
Orlando
Oklahoma City 5:30 PM
LA Lakers
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Denver
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Winnipeg
Tampa Bay 4:00 PM
Florida
Columbus 4:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Washington
Anaheim 7:00 PM
Dallas
St. Louis 8:30 PM
Vancouver
SMU 36 2nd Half 15:57
Connecticut 43
Quinnipiac 40 2nd Half 15:10
Manhattan 50
Fairfield 38 2nd Half 14:59
Niagara 38
Marist 32 2nd Half 12:09
Rider 35
Iona 41 2nd Half 11:43
Saint Peters 47
Oregon State 7 1st Half 11:36
California 13
South Florida 8 1st Half 10:41
Houston 18
Marquette 2:30 PM
Providence
Michigan State 3:00 PM
Wisconsin
Siena 3:30 PM
Monmouth
Pittsburgh 5:30 PM
Wake Forest
Oregon 6:00 PM
Stanford
Purdue 6:30 PM
Ohio State
Arizona State 7:30 PM
Colorado
Washington St 8:30 PM
UCLA
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
Binghamton 50 FINAL
UMBC 73
Elon 65 FINAL
Hofstra 58
Virginia Tech 47 FINAL
Boston College 49
(8) Louisville 59 FINAL
Virginia 75
Texas 69 FINAL
West Virginia 76
Creighton 53 FINAL
Villanova 61
Seton Hall 85 FINAL
Butler 76
UNC-Wilmington 76 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 65
(5) Maryland 69 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 48
Saint Josephs 67 FINAL
La Salle 55
Louisiana Tech 53 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 60
Rhode Island 33 2nd Half 13:48
Massachusetts 51
Richmond 28 2nd Half 15:50
VA Commonwealth 33
Davidson 40 2nd Half 9:04
Fordham 40
St Bonaventure 30 2nd Half 11:40
Duquesne 38
George Mason 28 2nd Half 11:16
(22) George Washington 67
Indiana 35 2nd Half 10:48
(20) Rutgers 50
(12) Texas A&M 39 2nd Half 15:40
LSU 49
Ole Miss 25 2nd Half 14:56
(11) Miss State 35
Clemson 43 2nd Half 10:31
Pittsburgh 43
Maine 38 2nd Half 8:20
New Hampshire 49
Vermont 37 2nd Half 8:39
Albany 52
Quinnipiac 49 2nd Half 15:42
Monmouth 26
Saint Peters 38 2nd Half 11:09
Siena 43
(4) Notre Dame 56 2nd Half 8:53
NC State 40
Wisconsin 44 2nd Half 12:18
Penn State 39
Stony Brook 35 2nd Half 10:38
Hartford 41
Northeastern 28 2nd Half 9:21
William & Mary 48
St Johns 43 2nd Half 10:06
Xavier 47
James Madison 54 2nd Half 11:41
Delaware 55
Towson 4 1st Half 11:50
Drexel 9
Illinois State 2 1st Half 14:30
Bradley 11
Southern Ill 5 1st Half 13:40
Loyola-Chicago 10
Northern Iowa 5 1st Half 12:00
Wichita State 13
Minnesota 16 1st Half 10:32
(17) Iowa 20
(15) North Carolina 9 1st Half 14:04
(16) Duke 9
Alabama 11 1st Half 12:00
Auburn 15
(9) Florida State 14 1st Half 11:30
Miami-Florida 9
Arkansas 10 1st Half 9:13
Missouri 17
Georgia 10 1st Half 11:57
Florida 9
Dayton 23 1st Half 11:30
Saint Louis 15
Drake 10 1st Half 13:24
Missouri State 15
Colorado 3:00 PM
(10) Arizona State
(19) Stanford 3:00 PM
Oregon
Marquette 3:00 PM
DePaul
Southern Miss 3:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Vanderbilt 4:00 PM
(6) Tennessee
(2) South Carolina 4:00 PM
(13) Kentucky
Utah 4:00 PM
Arizona
Ohio State 4:00 PM
Nebraska
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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