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Vikings Desperately Search For Answers At Quarterback And Other Spots

Posted by Stan Simmons on 2/4/2014 5:17:57 AM

The Minnesota Vikings were a playoff team last season. This season, they’re the second-worst team in the NFC next to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They are trying to find solutions.

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings – Sunday, October 27

Betting line: Packers -10.5

Why Green Bay Will Win

This is a game that doesn’t need to be overanalyzed. The Packers’ offense has not been playing its best, largely because of injuries to the offensive line. However, Green Bay is going up against an opponent that is unlikely to make the Packers pay for their relative inconsistency. The Vikings played one of the worst football games of the season – as bad a regular season NFL game as anyone has ever seen – this past Monday night against the lowly New York Giants. The Vikings had no real clue in terms of their game plan or their execution. Strategy and performance were both lacking. Quarterback Josh Freeman, hastily thrown into the fire when he didn’t know all of the playbook and hadn’t established a full rapport with his receivers, was obviously not ready to play. The misguided decision by head coach Leslie Frazier set back the team, and now Minnesota is going back to its opening-day starter, Christian Ponder, for this Sunday Night Football game against the Packers. There’s such a revolving door at quarterback for the Vikings – with Ponder, Freeman, and Matt Cassel all getting a chance to be the starter in the span of just one half of a season – that no quarterback can establish any rhythm at all. It seems foolish to expect the Vikings to generate any offense for any prolonged period of time. Adrian Peterson is lost on an island while Minnesota aimlessly tries to throw the ball and create balance on offense. The project isn’t working for lots of reasons, but the big one is that no leader is emerging under center. One man has to be given a chance to play four straight games and take the reins for the offense in a larger and more meaningful sense. This is not happening with the Vikings.

This is a straightforward online football betting dynamic for all of the above reasons. In many ways, the central question of this game is this: “What could Ponder do now that Freeman couldn’t do last week, or which Cassel couldn’t do a few weeks before?” The likely answer: nothing.

Why Minnesota Will Win

The Vikings, playing at home on national television, will be powerfully motivated to avoid getting embarrassed. Moreover, Ponder – back in the saddle at quarterback – might now be ready to perform at a higher level, since he’s been able to watch games from the sidelines for several weeks and could be in a position to apply what he’s learned in film study sessions. Moreover, if Ponder can merely play at a slightly-above-average level – not filling up the stat sheet, but avoiding turnovers and making simple plays on third down and five – Green Bay’s offense will need to perform well to beat Minnesota, and this is where things get dicey for the Packers. Green Bay’s offense has labored for most of the season. Minnesota pass rusher Jared Allen could have a field day in this game, enough to force Green Bay turnovers and change the complexion of this game.

Who Will Win

For all the emotion Minnesota is likely to display, Green Bay has many more resources plus a quarterback it can completely trust. The Vikings have very little margin for error, and that’s likely to show up on Sunday night.

NFL Betting Pick: Packers -10.5

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