1. Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson
This is less of a trend and more of just a statement of fact, but having Favre and Peterson on your team in the playoffs isn’t going to be a bad thing. Both Favre and Peterson have the ability to take over and win games. Favre did it this year against the San Francisco 49ers and twice against Green Bay, and we’ve seen Peterson do it several times over the course of his career, including this year in the season-opener at Cleveland.
2. A Bye and Home Playoff Game
For the 2nd consecutive year, the Vikings closed out the regular season with a huge win in Week 17 against the NY Giants. Last year they clinched the NFC North with a 50-yard Ryan Longwell FG at the buzzer. This year, they dominated the Giants 44-7 to help clinch a 1st-round bye in the NFC playoffs. The bye allows some key players (Bernard Berrian, Steve Hutchinson, Pat Williams, Antoine Winfield) to rest up and rejuvenate and then when the Vikings do return to action they’ll be playing their 1st playoff game at home, where they are 8-0 in 2009.
3. Pass Rush On Turf
The Vikings had 29.0 sacks in 10 games while playing on artificial surfaces during 2009, which included 25.0 sacks in 8 home games. Jared Allen and Ray Edwards love rushing the edge on the fast surfaces and they’ll be in line to play on the artificial stuff all the way up to Super Bowl XLIV, which is being played outdoors and on grass at Land Shark Stadium in South Florida.
4. Vikings On Fire In Last 7 quarters
The Vikings went on a tough run in December, losing 3 of 4 games and struggling to keep a rhythm on offense. But they have outscored their opponents 74-27 in the last 7 quarters and the offense is trending upward heading into the playoffs.
5. The Kicking Game
Often overlooked – except when something goes wrong – the kicking game is an important aspect of every game played in the NFL. And the kicking game is a broad spectrum that encompasses kickoffs, FGs, PATs and punts, from a general standpoint.
The Vikings kicking game in 2009 has been solid. K Ryan Longwell converted 26 of 28 FG tries this year, including 2 of 2 from 50+ yards, and he was 54 of 55 on PATs. On top of that, Longwell generally did a nice job of spotting his kickoffs. While Longwell doesn’t record many touchbacks, he’s improved over the last couple of seasons on his accuracy from the tee.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, Ryan Longwell
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 17 Comments »