“Big Time”

NFC Game Of The Week

Minnesota Vikings at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vikings: After the slow start, I can admit I threw the towel in on them. After making the playoffs the year before, they were one of the biggest disappointments to me. As of late, they’ve been rolling. Just when you think they’re done for the year, here they are with a 6-6 record and quietly inserting themselves into the playoff picture in the NFC. That’s solid and all, but to be honest, I didn’t like how they looked on Sunday because they could never pull away. The Vikings went into overtime with a one-win team when they should’ve put them away sooner. But hey, at the end of the day, a win is still a win regardless of how it gets done. From this point on, every game for them is a playoff game. This Sunday, they’ll make a trip to Florida for a big game.

Bucs: There was a time when they were labeled as the best team in the NFC. Remember that? Everything was going for them as expected. Now, that just seems like a distant memory. Since that 6-2 mark in their season, they’ve lost three of their last four games. People continue to ask what’s wrong with the Buccaneers. I can gladly explain. Bruce Arians is the issue because he’s not catering to his quarterback’s strengths. When you watch Tom Brady, what’s he like to do? Get the running game going, use play action and dink and dump. When it presents itself, he will take a shot down the field. I haven’t seen Tom throw it down the field this much since 2007. The defense is still solid when they aren’t blitzing so much. They need to get back on track to snap this losing streak. The bye week is over.

Vikings X-Factor: Harrison Smith– He’s an enforcer. As a safety, you either come into the box or you cover the back end and not many have been as consistent as this guy. You don’t run over the middle on Harrison because he will welcome you with open arms.

Bucs X-Factor: Scotty Miller– This is the typical Brady receiver. He wants to feed the ball to those smaller and shiftier guys in space. Scotty has great speed to get open and move up the field. He’s a different, yet shorter receiver because he can take the top off zone coverage.

Final Thoughts: This is a huge game regarding the NFC Wild Card race. Not many expected Minnesota to be in this position, but here we are. The Bucs lost their last two games by a combined six points. Kirk Cousins needs to be smart in this one. Tampa will shut down the run and do all they can to force the ball into his hands. I can’t wait to see what this Bucs secondary does against Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.

Prediction: Bucs 27 Vikings 23

One thought on ““Big Time”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *