The Vikings are 5-2, have won three of their last four contests, are coming off a victory over Arizona last Sunday, and are playing at home (where they are 4-0 this season) in prime time for the first time since 2009. Their opponent is two games under .500, has lost four of its last five games and is traveling on a short week.
Throw in the fact that home teams are winning at a 63.6% clip in Thursday night games since 2006 and have won five of six contests in 2012, and it’s clear Mr. Momentum is on the Vikings side.
But Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier is not letting his team fall into that trap.
“They’re in so many games, every week battling right to the very end,” Frazier said of his team’s opponent this week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “I think Greg Schiano and his staff, they have those guys fighting, and they seem to be prepared every week. They play with a lot of energy across the board, on special teams, offense and defense, and that’s been very impressive to see. We’ll have to really rise up and match their intensity on Thursday night.”
Frazier makes a good point. The Buccaneers may be 2-4, but the two wins came in impressive fashion and the four losses were all tight ball games. Tampa Bay collected a division win to open the season – defeating Carolina 16-10 at home – and then they steamrolled the Kansas City Chiefs at home in Week 6 by a count of 38-10. Their four losses have come by an average of just 5.5 points and none of the losses have been by more than 7 points. Last week’s loss came down to the final play, with QB Josh Freeman throwing into the end zone.
Speaking of Freeman, he’s on fire the past two games. The fourth-year passer has 748 passing yards and a 6-1 TD-INT ratio the past two games. Defensively, the Buccaneers rank 3rd in rushing yards allowed per game (76.0) and 1st in yards per carry allowed (3.1). On special teams, Tampa Bay is the only team with a higher touchback percentage than the Vikings.
“They’re doing a lot of good things across the board,” Frazier said, “and we’re going to have to play our best football to be successful at Mall of America Field on Thursday night.”
Tags: Leslie Frazier
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 43 Comments »