Minnesota Vikings: What to watch for in Week Three vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Minnesota Vikings head into week 3 1-1 and without Sam Bradford, who was ruled out early on. Minnesota looked lost on offense with Keenum at the helm. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers come into Minnesota 1-0 hot off a dismantling of the Bears.
Mike Evans is Jamis Winston’s favorite target and everyone knows this. Zimmer has been assigning Xavier Rhodes to cover the best receiver on the field. Rhodes closed the roads to completions against one of the best last week in Antonio Brown, whom he followed around most of the day. Expect the same to be done this week. This leaves DeSean Jackson to work against Trae Waynes of Terrance Newman. Jackson caught 3 of his seven targets for 39 yards. He did miss a long pass which would have been a touchdown. I expect at least 3 attempts to get a deep ball over Waynes, similar to what the Steelers did with Matavis Bryant. Waynes is known to get laundry thrown his way for pass interference.
Jaquizz Rodgers is starting again for the Bucs with the suspension of Doug Martin. They fed Rodgers 19 times for only 67 yards and a touchdown. Tampa, with the lead, continued to run the with Peyton Barber. Barber ran the ball effectively with 10 touches and 4.7 yards per carry. The Minnesota Vikings have been stout against the run so far, bottling up Le’Veon Bell and Chris Ivory. The Bucs won’t stop running the ball but look for more of the same this week.
Case Keenum started against the Steelers last week and had happy feet all day. There were several times where he didn’t help his offensive line out and ran directly into a sack or quarterback pressure, instead of sliding or stepping up in the pocket and giving himself time to throw. Tampa was in the backfield hanging around Glennon all day and could prove to do the same thing to Keenum. The Bears were effective getting the ball in the hands of their tight end, Case should be looking for Rudolph a lot. Stephan Diggs and Adam Thielen may be targeted but will not get the same type of looks as with Bradford. The Bucs secondary is better this year and will bait Keenum into interceptions.
Dalvin Cook has been a breath of fresh air thus far for Minnesota. He is patient and finds the hole and gets through it. Cook is effective in pass blocking situations also. Kwon Alexander has been ruled out for the Tampa and they will be starting Adarius Glanton. Glanton is serviceable, but nowhere near as good as Alexander. Vikings should be looking to run often and test the middle of the field with Cook and Latvius Murray.
Tampa Bay looked great on defense but they struggled at times on offense. They will right the ship this week with a balanced attack against a good defense. So far the Bucs look good on defense. Expect more of the same this week with Keenum at the helm. Tampa will take advantage of mistakes and hold serve on defense. I have the Buccaneers winning 28-10 over an inept Minnesota Vikings defense.