Blogs

Analyzing Vikings-Patriots Special Teams Matchups

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 27, 2010 – 9:19 am

In setting the table for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots I mentioned that one of the best matchups will be on special teams. This area of the game is often overlooked, but it could make a huge difference in any given week.

Drilling even deeper here, the best 2 matchups happen to be when the Vikings kick off and when the Vikings punt. So, let’s take a quick look…

When the Vikings kick off: New England uses WR Brandon Tate as their primary kickoff returner and he’s been excellent so far in 2010. Tate is averaging 31.7 yards per kickoff return and he’s taken 2 returns to the house for TDs. Conversely the Vikings kickoff coverage team has been solid this season. Because he can’t boom the ball through the endzone regularly, the Vikings emphasize placement of kicks and this will be key on Sunday.

Also key on Sunday will be the 10 guys running down the field in coverage for the Vikings. Generally speaking, this area has been good this season and certainly improved from seasons past. The Vikings yield 23.7 yards per kickoff return, which is middle of the road in terms of NFL rankings, but that includes a pesky 86-yard return. Anyway, they’ll need to be at their best on Sunday to slow down Tate.

From a raw numbers standpoint, the Patriots have the edge here. But Longwell and Co. will certainly have a plan for Sunday and it’ll be a matter of executing that plan and not missing tackles.

When the Vikings punt: The edge in this department goes to the Vikings. P Chris Kluwe is having another marvelous season, as he’s ranked #2 in the NFL with a 41.8 net average and he also has 11 punts downed inside the 20. Just as important, though, is the fact that Kluwe and the punt coverage team are allowing a league-low 3.1 yards per punt return and only 11 of Kluwe’s 28 punts have been returned; opposing returns have called 9 fair catches. These stats indicate a couple of things: 1) Kluwe is doing a good job of directional kicking and hang time and 2) the coverage guys are doing a nice job of surrounding the returner and bringing him down quickly.

New England counters with a nice returner in WR Julian Edelman. Both Tate and Wes Welker have logged punt returns, but Edelman has taken the majority of them and when he does New England gets 13.4 yards per return, which would rank 4th best in the NFL if it qualified. Edelman has yet to call for a fair catch and although he doesn’t have a return TD yet, he does have a long return of 34 yards, so you know he’s got the moves to make it happen.

This is a good matchup and one to watch on Sunday; the Vikings have a slight edge here.


Tags: ,
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 19 Comments »


19 Responses to “Analyzing Vikings-Patriots Special Teams Matchups”

  1. By Cor-XLVikings ! on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    In order for us to win this football game we would have to come out and score 3 or 7 more points ahead of the patriots throughout the WHOLE game. If after 1 quarter it looks like another fall short comeback type game-forget it ! And NO turn overs !

  2. By PurplePeopleEater on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    it’s pretty sad to try and base the hopes of victory this week on special teams when you have 2 offenses that include Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Brendan Tate, Randy Moss, Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin. I hate to say it, but if it truly comes down to special teams then I don’t think we stand a chance.

  3. By Robins on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    I wonder if the refs will give this game to the Patriots. After the New Orleans game and the packer game, I have no faith in them. They choose who to give the game to. Brett really did beat the packers again with his great team even though he was injured and there were some mistakes by a lot of people. The packers were so scared of Brett, they had to come out at half time and grab his bad ankle. Cowards.

  4. By fire childress on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    we should really be Analyzing to see if Chilly has a brain or not

  5. By purplehaze on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    YEAH, PLAY CATCH UP WE CAN’T DO HERE IF WE ARE TO HAVE A SNOWBALL’S CHANCE TO TAKE ONE OF THE NFL’S BEST TEAMS DOWN, ITS GOTTA BE SOLID EXECUTION ON VIRTUALLY EVERY PLAY FOR THE VIKES TO PREVAIL. NO PICS, FUMBLES, BLOCKING ON BOTH SIDES, AND SPECIAL TEAMS HAVE TO JOIN THE PARTY FOR SURE…IMPOSSIBLE TASK, NO, ALOT OF UNDERDOG TEAMS HAVE TAKEN THE FAVORED BIG DOG DOWN SO FAR THIS SEASON, EVEN ON THEIR OWN TURF…

  6. By Tim Bishop on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    Anyone that’s enough of a Vikings homer to think they have a shot against New England hasn’t been watching this season. Childress simply can’t put together an effective game plan against teams that are better than .500. He’s consistently not able to plan well.

    Favre has shown for several years he’s hit every goal he wanted and now it’s a game to see what he can make happen regardless of the consequences if it doesn’t.

    Tavaris Jackson- he would REALLY have to have improved over the last year and a half to be factor.

    Just isn’t going to happen folks- we are done at the end of the regular season. Then it’s time to dismantle and go back to being the losers like Red McComb made us.

    Sucks to witness this ineptitude.

    Tim

  7. By Carl K on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    Analyzing the Coaching matchup – This is also an area that is often overlooked.
    Lets break it down.
    Motivation – New England
    Leadership – New England
    Clock and Game Management – New England
    Play Calling – New England
    Character – even
    Coaching can make a huge difference in any given week.

  8. By fire childress on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    chilly presser<<<<<<>>>>>>> well….umm…looks like a long year folks… we can rule out a home playoff game for sure…heck, we need to win the last 10 games just to get a playoff spot period… if t-jack starts the New England game our chances of winning that game is below 1 percent…so lets just call this a rebuilding year even though we have superbowl talent…we would need all 22 players to be pro-bowlers in order for us to win with yours truly coaching…..

  9. By Justin on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    If Childress thought the fans were upset enough so far, it’s only going to get worse. Him and Darell Bevill need to change tactics if we have any chance of beating the Patriots. Conservative play-calling IS NOT WORKING!.

  10. By purplehaze on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    BRAD USE YOUR, UMMMM BRAINS HERE, EVEN THE BROWNIES TOOK DOWN A SUPPOSED POWER HOUSE TEAM WITH SOME INGENUITY-CREATIVITY. THROW THE PLAY BOOK OUT THE WINDOW, IT HASN’T WORKED THAT WELL FOR YOU THUS FAR!

  11. By NDPurple on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    The Vikings trade for upgrades at WR-then don’t effectively use them(in 1 case don’t use them at all), and keep their best breakaway threat between the tackles, and rarely get him out in space. I agree with previous posters-time to loosen up the play calling and get the defense guessing-but that would take a change at the top, because this coach knows everything and is the master of all. If the Vikings would have had a real coach last year we would have a Lombardi Trophy at Winter Park.

  12. By purplehaze on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    THATS TRUE, THE LITTILE THINGS ADD UP TO BIG THINGS ,AND WINS..

    CHILI DOG IS EQUAL TO FEW AND SUPERIOR TO NONE, BECAUSE THE TALENT IS THERE ON THIS TEAM, IT’S HOW IT’S UTILIZED THAT COUNTS IN THE END GAME.

  13. By paul on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    Vikings special teams, the only phase of the game that seems to play well.

    Moss came back, any chance that Denny Green’s next.

    Denny, would lite some fires under this team
    Give him a 8-game contract and see what he could do. What there to lose…

  14. By TWVIKE on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    Chilly is AWESOME!!

  15. By TWVIKE on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    I truly lied, he is a Fv<KIN IDIOT!!!!

  16. By TWVIKE on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    Chilly has been selected to coach the Toilet-Bowl, great choice since he has led our team down the CR@PPER

  17. By barry hudd on Oct 28, 2010 | Reply

    PLAY TOBY GERHART THIS WOULD HELP THE TEAM. LET HIM GET SOME PLAYING TIME.

  18. By onpoint on Oct 29, 2010 | Reply

    Oh, if the coaches can hear my plea! Please don’t put that guy back there who’s afraid to return a punt , his last name starts with a C. Hate for Harvin to be the go to guy, but he does a much better return.
    Oh, by the way, NE likes to KICK that ball into the endzone on kickoffs–much further for their opponents to gain yardage and it gives NE players a better “run down field time” to get the return man before the 20 yard line. Has anyone not EVER noticed this?

  1. 1 Trackback(s)

  2. Oct 27, 2010: Analyzing Vikings-Patriots Special Teams Matchups | Vikings Stop Blog

Post a Comment