A Closer Look At The Vikings With Adam Warwas

Looking ahead to this weeks game, I decided to try and find out a little bit more on the Minnesota Vikings, and what to expect during the game.

I consulted VikingsGab writer Adam Warwas to pick his brain on what to look for during the game and who may have the edge over the other. Here is the conversation that DolphinsGab Brant Houghton had with Adam.

What are the Vikings strengths weaknesses?

Weaknesses?  They have none.

Just kidding.

This team has improved their secondary on paper, but injuries have prevented them from showing what they truly have.  Husain Abdullah has “career backup” written all over him, but he inexplicably won the job at starting strong safety. 

A week ago, we faced the Saints with only three healthy cornerbacks as starter Cedric Griffin and our top draft choice Chris Cook were out with injury.  Whether or not either of them are able to face the Dolphins remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that the Vikings secondary is a work in progress.

I would also say that the Vikings offensive line has taken big steps backwards over the last two years, and while they still have some talent, they continue to struggle opening up holes for Adrian Peterson.

The biggest weakness, thought, is play calling on offense and their inability to adjust to what a defense is doing.  Brett Favre missing training camp appears to have affected the timing and chemistry he has with his pass catchers.

What are their strengths?

 

The biggest strength for the Vikings is pure talent and depth.  Any part of this team can be considered a strength when they are firing on all cylinders.  The run game is dangerous, the passing game can be productive, we have one of the best run defenses, even the secondary can shut down opponents, and out special teams has improved.

If the Vikings are having a “good day” then watch out.  That talent and depth, however, can even help them come out of an “off day” with a victory.  There are plenty of game changers on both sides of the ball for this team.

With Sidney Rice out for a couple more weeks, who will be the person to step up and take his place as the primary playmaker for the Vikings offense?

 

Losing Rice is a big blow to this offense, but it is something they can overcome.  Visanthe Shiancoe wants to be paid like a top five tight end after this year, and his week one performance suggests he wants to earn that money by helping fill the void left by Rice.

Adrian Peterson also needs to be leaned on in a bigger way than the coaching staff did against the Saints.  He is hungry to quiet his critics (an offseason full of answering questions about his fumbles) and try to reclaim his status as the NFL’s best runner.

The Vikings defense once was the cream of the crop as far as a complete unit. Are they still as dominant as they once were a couple years back?

 

I wouldn’t say the Vikings have had a “complete unit” a couple years back.  This team has struggled in finding a productive secondary for years, and it appears that those struggles may not be over yet.

Our front seven could be considered one of the best in the league, but the secondary has to prove themselves before I even put them in the top 20.

What are some of the things that you will be looking for as far as an insiders take, on what the Vikings need to do against the Dolphins to come out victorious?

 

The formula on defense seems pretty simple.  The Ronnie and Ricky show needs to be our focus, which plays to the Vikings strengths.  If they can stuff the run and force the unproven (no offense) Chad Henne to throw the ball, then our dangerous pass rush could force the youngster to make a number of costly mistakes.

On offense, the Vikings have to find some more chemistry in the passing game, but they also have to be more patient with the run.  Your run defense looked fantastic against the Bills, but the Vikings have to continue to feed Peterson and try to open things up in the passing game.  Despite a close game and good production from Peterson, the Vikings coaching staff abandoned the run in the second half of the opening game against the Saints, and the Saints defense was simply able to drop a bunch of guys into coverage and shut down Favre.  Production out of the running game is key.

What is your score prediction and who wins?

 

I’m writing this on Monday, so my prediction could change (jump over to Vikings Gab on Friday to see a full breakdown of the game) but for now I have to say the Vikings are a step or two ahead of the Fins, despite our poor showing in New Orleans.

I think Brandon Marshall could be in for a big game, but the Vikes effectively slow down the running game of the Fins and score enough on offense.  For now, I’ll go with 24-13 with the Vikes getting the “W.”

I would like to thank Adam for participating in this Q&A with myself. It should be a very entertaining game, with what I ultimately think will be a victory for the Fins.


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