The Call: Vikings vs. Tampa Bay

  • Updated: October 24, 2012 - 8:02 PM

One man's prediction: With their passing attack sputtering, the Vikings seem vulnerable to an upset. But it's hard to get past the struggles that road teams seem to have with these Sunday-to-Thursday turnarounds. Since the start of 2011, teams traveling on the Sunday-Thursday flip are just 3-12. Tampa Bay is coming off a tough loss to NFC South rival New Orleans as well. Vikings 24, Tampa Bay 23

Break payoff

Tampa Bay used its Week 5 bye to refine its offense somewhat, freeing quarterback Josh Freeman to take more shots down the field. The results have been eye-opening. The Buccaneers have totaled 976 yards of offense the past two weeks, with Freeman completing 39 of 68 passes for 748 yards and six touchdowns. Freeman has two big-play receivers in Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams. And if defenses grow overly concerned with eliminating the deep ball, rookie running back Doug Martin has averaged 5.6 yards per carry the past two weeks.

 

Fine line

The Vikings' defensive line registered six sacks in last week's dominant effort against Arizona and now has 15 sacks in the past five games. That ability to create pressure without help is certainly comforting to coordinator Alan Williams, who likely will keep the blitzing to a minimum again this week while using his safeties to protect against the vertical passing game. Jared Allen has a sack in each of the past five games.

 

So now what?

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder has committed seven turnovers the past three games and is coming off a dismal effort Sunday in which he threw for just 58 yards. How much will a slide like that impact his confidence? "'I've already moved on," Ponder insisted. "We're not thinking about Arizona anymore at all." The good news: Tampa Bay ranks 31st against the pass (323.0 yards per game). The Buccaneers will also be without top cornerback Aqib Talib (suspended) and defensive end Adrian Clayborn (season-ending knee injury).

22 Yards per catch by Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson (actually 21.7). He has more receiving yards this season than Percy Harvin (586-577) despite having 26 fewer catches (53-27).

Dallas Clark, Buccaneers: With the Tampa Bay offense exploding, Clark finally woke up last week with five catches, 51 yards and a TD in a loss to New Orleans. The former All-Pro tight end for the Colts (100 catches in 2009) signed as a free agent with the Bucs during the offseason.

MANO-A-MANO

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Bucs linebacker Lavonte David vs. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson

About David (right)

Standout rookie leads the Bucs in tackles (49) and tackles for loss (nine).

Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after an upset of New England in Week 2.

About Peterson

Leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage (787) and registered his 29th career 100-yard game last week, gaining 153 against Arizona to be named NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

Advantage: Peterson. The Bucs' D held the top backs of its first six opponents to an average of 49 rushing yards. But the Vikings rank seventh in the NFL in rushing offense (132.3 ypg). And their playmaking star seems to be getting better by the week.

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New Orleans 28 FINAL
Carolina 10
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 105 FINAL
Orlando 98
Detroit 91 FINAL
Minnesota 97
New York 95 FINAL
Cleveland 90
Utah 102 FINAL
Dallas 120
Oklahoma City 90 FINAL
LA Clippers 93
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 2
Winnipeg 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Chicago 5 FINAL(SO)
Ottawa 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Arizona 1 FINAL
Florida 2
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 4
Anaheim 0 FINAL
St. Louis 2
NY Islanders 0 FINAL
Colorado 5
Montreal 2 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
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Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
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Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Hamilton 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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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 Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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