Vikings-Rams: Storylines To Follow

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on August 14, 2010 – 8:31 am

It’s very hot and sticky here in St. Louis, but fortunatly for all involved, tonight’s game will be played inside the climate-controlled Edward Jones Dome, as the Vikings take on the Rams at 7 p.m. CST on KARE 11 back in the Twin Cities.  Here are some things to keep an eye on as tonight’s game unfolds…

  • I think it’s safe to say it’s no better than 50-50 that QB Brett Favre returns to the Vikings this season.  Should he not, things will be in the hands of QB Tarvaris Jackson, who has shown improvement during training camp and should be better than he was at the end of the 2008 season.  How much better?  We’ll start to get a sense of that tonight, though he’ll probably only play a series or two.  Still though, he’s going to need to show that he has indeed evolved if this team’s going to be taken as a serious Super Bowl contender should No. 4 elect not to return.
  • Given he had a leg injury during the middle part of training camp, RB Adrian Peterson may not see much, if any, action tonight.  Either way, the guys behind him will see lots of action, and there’s much to look forward to when it comes to the backup running back battle.  Albert Young is entering his second season and seems to have a leg up on rookie Toby Gerhart at this point.  Expect both of those guys to get many carries tonight, especially if Peterson is inactive.  And don’t forget about wideout turned running back Darius Reynaud, who is also coming off an injury in camp.  Should he play, he could be used in many ‘unique’ ways as a possible fill-in for WR Percy Harvin, who will miss the game as he’s not with the team right now.  Harvin generally played in the slot last season but of course was used in some more exotic packages.  Given his migraine issues, the Vikings need to have somebody ready to fill his shoes in the offensive gameplan, and it seems like Reynaud may be that guy.
  • With both Harvin and Sidney Rice out of action at wide receiver, look for many of the young guys to get plenty of playing time.  Two to really keep an eye on that could be battling for one of the last roster spots are Jaymar Johnson and Logan Payne.  Both have impressed at times during training camp, and given the injury situations with Harvin and Rice, the Vikings may keep more wideouts than they orginally planned coming into camp, so Johnson and/or Payne could be the beneficiary there.
  • The Vikings five starters on the offensive line seem set, but they’ll be some healthy competition for the backup spots.  With veteran Artis Hicks having moved on to Washington in the offseason, the Vikings are a little more thin at o-line than they were a season ago, so it will be key to build up some depth for the inevitable injures that will occur throughout the season.
  • On the defensive side of the ball, one guy to keep an eye on is DT Letroy Guion.  Coaches have been raving about him during camp, and he’ll likely see big minutes tonight, as it’s tough to image Kevin and Pat Williams playing more than a series tonight.  Guion came into the league as a very young player, but now entering his third season, he seems to be taking a step in the right direction, so we’ll see if that translated into game action.
  • It’s still unclear if LB E.J. Henderson will play at all tonight after coming off that gruesome leg injury late last season.  Either way, he won’t play much, but second year player Jasper Brinkley, who filled it admirably last season and has also drawn rave reviewed during camp.  He should see plenty of run all preseason long and will hopefully keep growing as a player.
  • A couple of young guys should see extensive time at the cornerback spot.  AA and CC — second year player Asher Allen and rookied Chris Cook — have both played well during camp.  Antoine Winfield is coming off a foot injury and it doesn’t look like Cedric Griffin will be ready to start the season (torn ACL vs. Saints last January), so it will be key for Allen and Cook to be ready to go from game one.
  • Finally, Jamarca Sanford started to take snaps away from starter Tyrell Johnson late last season at strong safety.  Those two have continued to split duties during training camp, and it seems as though there’s an open competition for that job.  Though it’s doubtful that either guy will play too much in this first preseason game, it’s arguably the only starting spot on either side of the ball that could be up in the air, so it’s worth watching all preseason long.

Posted in All | 28 Comments »

28 Responses to “Vikings-Rams: Storylines To Follow”

  1. By kw on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    i could care less if the win qa pre season game but can’t wait to see gerhart play in it.

  2. By kw on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    they win a**

  3. By jones on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    It should be a easy win for the vikes

  4. By jones on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    The one thing I am mostly worried about this team is it has a letdown against teams they should be able to win. I don’t know what it is but every year there are games that they just don’t show up. If that problem persist they need to get rid of the coach you can’t get a ring if you don’t take care of games you play a full 90minutes.

  5. By Marty on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    Go Jamarca Sanford! I am pumped to see how well he does tonight.

  6. By Mike on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    The Vikings will win this game. I’m interested in watching the play of Sam Bradford for the Rams! I want to see just how good he is in comparrison to how he has been bragged up since being drafted (and even before being drafted)

    I’m also curious about Toby Gerhardt, Jamarca Sanford, Chris Cook and Jasper Brinkley! I’m really excitied to see these guys step it up this season!

  7. By Tom on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    If Favre does not return, the vikes are not superbowl contenders, and will have to fight to get a wild card. TJ is a joke as an NFL QB. Every pre-season we hear how much TJ improved, and the vikes writers on this site make it sound like he’s the next Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. I wish the vikes would get rid of this guy and get a real QB for when Favre retires.

  8. By Skol_Vikings on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    wow Tom I love your enthusiasm. Its truely heartwarming. It also worth noting that every season T-Jack’s numbers have IMPROVED, quite a bit. INCLUDING winning 5 games in a row to end 08. With some better reads and more checkdowns, I think he’ll be fine. The Vikings dont need an elite QB to be an elite team. The BEARS of all teams made it to the superbowl with Rex Grossman, and Grossman is leaps worse than TJ.

  9. By Lito on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    Now how about a 6’6″ 330 lbs offensive center or right offensive guard to protect the QB and create holes for AP, AY, and TG?

  10. By OLDSCHOOL on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    Tom….Tom…Tom…haven’t we been through this before with you putting down our tean and T-Jack?! YYYYEEESSS we have! I bet you my Rolex that he will be just fine this season, if he starts, and I believe he will! He is going to awesome with his speed and arm!

  11. By OLDSCHOOL on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    I hope Brett retires…….I think he wants to. T-Jack is ready to go! I’m more worried about Sidney and Percy….they need to get on the field……..SOON!

  12. By OLB #55 A TEAM on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    I really wanna see what T-Jack can do tonight during the game. He has taken a very long time to develop since coming in to the league in ’06. But in his limited playing time last year looked pretty good. I also want to see what Darius Reynaud can do tonight. I like what he was able to do as a back up WR last year and he good punt return skills.

  13. By Susan on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    Wish I could watch or listen to the game … I can’t get anything in North Central Wisconsin, not even on the internet! I hope that Brett comes back, and I really think he wants to as well, but it all hinges on that ankle. The longer he waits to tell us what Dr. Andrews said, the less chance there is, I think. It would be GREAT if he was healthy and came back but, if that doesn’t happen, he sure gave us a rush in 2009, didn’t he! Go, Vikes!!

  14. By kw on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    nope rosenfels is playing

  15. By purple08 on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    Disgusted to read how many people are voting for Rosenfels to start over Jackson. Sad.

  16. By purple08 on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    Nice to see some of you guys on here getting behind T-Jack! Hopefully everyone will be healthy for opener and he can show what he can do with the same guys Favre enjoyed last year. By the way, the Vikes team last year was the best team Favre has ever played on! Go T-Jack! Go Vikes!

  17. By pukeyjames on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    OMG you people want TJ? Your the only fans in NFL who do! Packers fan here, hope he is your starter then we win div!!!! Hope he is your QB for a long, long, time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. By PurplePeopleEater on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    @ regurgitating jim – go back to your own site and puke all over that, at least the colors will blend in. Yea, we all know there are plenty of QBs better than TJack out there, but we also believe that he has improved enough to be a good player when he has the stars all around him to make his job easy.

  19. By Robin on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    Sage did great tonight! The Vikings did great even without their stars on the field. I hope they all get better soon and I hope they don’t play next week either. Too many players get hurt in the preseason games that don’t mean anything. Great going Vikings!

  20. By rap99 on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    08, Yeah, if Favre retires you don’t think Sage should have a shot at starting? You’re gonna say TJ EARNED the starting job? My left nut should have a fair shot vs. TJ

  21. By pukeyjames on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    PurplePeopleEater, Harvin is the only “O” star TJ did not have. Am I missing anyone? What improvement? Weak a*s argument! Learn the game!!!!!! Be a LIONS fan for now!

  22. By PurplePeopleEater on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    rap99 – If he DIDNT earn the job hands down, then why did he only play a single series? They only give you THAT little playing time if your position on the depth chart is guaranteed. I understand that you’re just mad because your left nut ran off with your ex-wife, but try to think before posting such moronic comments.

  23. By PurplePeopleEater on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    pukeyjames – are you kidding? Did you research anything before posting that “fact”? If you’re talking about today, Berrian was the only starting ball carrier that played. If you’re talking about 2 years ago, the team was much different. TJack was younger and less experienced. Rice hadn’t yet turned into an offensive star. Shiancoe hadn’t yet come into his own, so the only pässing threat there was came from Berrian. Tell me, how good was Mr Rogers in his first year as a starter? Do you think he hasn’t improved at all since then?

    But never mind, your comments are very much appreciated. They remind us all of the blatent intelligence of the Packer fanbase.

  24. By rap99 on Aug 15, 2010 | Reply

    Purple, what did TJ do to earn that job? What did I miss? If you think TJ earned that, your as dumb as my left nut, cause my X is a BI&CH

  25. By PurplePeopleEater on Aug 15, 2010 | Reply

    Okay rap, you’re right. TJ couldn’t have earned it. He must have held a gun to the coach’s head and threatened to stop supplying him the herroine if he wasn’t guaranteed the position.

    Or maybe you’d like to explain to me a better reason why TJack got 1 series at the beginning of the game and then sat out. It’s common sense. You need to back off and stop hating the guy simply because he’s black.

  26. By rap99 on Aug 15, 2010 | Reply

    LOL, because he’s black, thats a new one. But I believe you about the gun and heroin.

  27. By 4eversteve on Aug 15, 2010 | Reply

    I think Bradford finding out what Marc Bulger already knows, its going to be a very painful year for the rookie Bradford. The Vikings second and third string defense going up against that starting O-line for the Rams and still sacking him on a regular bases. Man must be killing the Ram ownership to put that 50 million dollar car into a demolition derby this year!

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