Case Keenum will get his second start of the season at quarterback, and the Vikings can hope he’s more in sync with the offense than he was last week in Pittsburgh. An energetic Buccaneers defense, though, could make things difficult. Prediction: Buccaneers 16, Vikings 13.
Three big story lines
Keenum back at QB
The Vikings will again turn to Keenum, who threw for just 167 yards in a loss to the Steelers. Keenum’s mobility could help the Vikings against Tampa Bay’s defense, but his footwork also got him in trouble last week.
Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is turning into one of the NFL’s better young passers, having thrown for more than 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons.
Looking to cook
The Buccaneers were 24th in the league against the run last year, and after breaking three runs of 25 yards or more in his first two games, rookie Dalvin Cook could be counted on for a big day.
Two key matchups
BUCCANEERS WR MIKE EVANS VS. VIKINGS CB XAVIER RHODES
Rhodes did an impressive job on Antonio Brown last week, containing the All-Pro receiver after being flagged for an early 22-yard pass interference penalty. The Vikings could ask Rhodes to shadow Evans on Sunday.
VIKINGS OFFENSIVE LINE vs. BUCCANEERS DT GERALD MCCOY
McCoy, who’s playing through an ankle injury, had 42½ sacks in his first seven seasons. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer compared him to former Viking Kevin Williams, and McCoy’s speed off the line is certainly reminiscent of Williams’.
One stat that matters
0 The number of turnovers the Vikings’ defense has forced this year. Against Winston, a timely takeaway or two could make the difference this week.
The Vikings will win if ...
They can turn a couple drives into TDs, particularly early in the game, so they can keep Cook involved and force Winston into a mistake or two with their pass rush.
The Buccaneers will win if ...
They’re as successful as the Steelers were in throwing at targets other than Rhodes, while using their defensive speed to keep Keenum from finding a rhythm.
Goessling’s win probability