MINNEAPOLIS — Defeat is never a good thing. Or a fun thing. Or something that is recommended to be repeated.
The Buccaneers will be looking to follow that advice as they travel north to Minneapolis to take on old division rivals, the Minnesota Vikings.
Last week the Bucs played as what can only be described as wounded animal. They were agitated and sometimes fierce when they needed to be defensive, but they made no advances offensively. Where the analogy dies is the Bucs weren’t wounded, or at least not to the extent they were in their previous meeting with the Lions. This week Tampa has it’s injury marks, but nothing that can be used as an excuse for a loss.
The Vikings stand on almost equal ground with the Bucs at this point, and that’s a direct demotion of where the Bucs stood before week one. At that point in time, this game looked like an easy ‘W’ to chalk up. The Vikings are aged (as they always seem to be) and only have a fight if you put one in them. And half the time that doesn’t even work for them. They battled the Chargers last week and in the first half, sent chills up my spine and fear in my mind when thinking “That’s next week’s opponent”.
Believe you me, this is somewhat of a rarity for the Vikings. Striking fear is two years removed for them.
However, the ability to strike fear may be gone for them, but the weapons to do so anyway are very much there. Jared Allen is not to be taken lightly, and should be played as Ndamukong Suh was last week. The only difference is Suh plugs the gut of the line, Allen flied off the end and when he gets past the tackle, he’s a rabid dog loose from the chain.
He hasn’t shown the consistency he had in his breakout 2008 season with Minnesota, but he still has the hungry and sheer talent to go absolutely psychotic if given the chance.
The good thing for the Bucs is he’s about their only weapon on defense. The problem is he’s that good he can ruin your drive at any given time.
The offense for the Vikings is much different. The main weapon is just as well known and just as much an anchor, but he’s more powerful. Adrian Peterson may have just signed a $100 million contract, but he’s not above proving he’s worth more. Donovan McNabb is aged and is a shell of his former self that the early 2000’s Bucs made themselves familiar with in Philly. But he’s not done and may still have a little Brett Favre in him and explode for the Vikes. His choice of punishing you is far less amusing. Bernard Berrian was their last choice as a No. 1 receiver this year and Micheal Jenkins isn’t what he was in Atlanta for the two seconds he was hot. Percy Harvin has the ability to burn you, but he’s about 4 feet tall and is a slot man, not a deep threat.
Think Wes Welker, but easier to take out of the receiving game. He’s more the Reggie Bush of receivers.