Vikings Try To Steady Their Ship Vs Bucs

Image courtesy of Blake/Reuters
Running back Adrian Peterson will be a key against the Bucs. Image courtesy of Blake/Reuters
A clear trend is developing with Thursday Night Football (Friday morning, AEDT) games in the NFL this season. The home team is 5-1 so far, and it is proving too much for the visiting side to not just back up from a Sunday game, but travel 2,500 kilometres by air, as Tampa Bay has to do when it heads to Minnesota to take on the Vikings.

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder doesn’t exactly come in to this game full of confidence after a lacklustre effort against the Cardinals last weekend, where he passed for just 58 yards and threw two interceptions. If there’s one pass defence you want to come up against on the back on those sort of numbers, though, it’s Tampa Bay’s. They’re ranked 31st in the league, giving up an average of 323 yards per game.

Ponder may have to go to the air more than he wants to, despite Adrian Peterson coming off yet another 100-yard game against Arizona. The Bucs’ are third best in the NFL against the run, and with Peterson having a heavy workload last weekend with 23 carries, the likes of Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph might be seeing some more work.

Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman has come back from the bye in Week 5 in hot form. The past two games he has thrown seven touchdown passes and his team has scored 66 points. The main beneficiaries of his form spike have been wideouts Vincent Jackson , who has five TDs this season, and Mike Williams with three scores. 

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