The Minnesota Vikings had two very different weeks to open the season, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hoping to give them a second down one in Week 3.
In order to defeat the Vikings in their own beautiful new home, the Buccaneers are going to have to exploit the weaknesses of their opponent and contain the strengths.
They did this well in Week 2 against the Chicago Bears. In Tampa’s lone regular season game to this point, the Bucs defense was able to flat out stuff their opponent’s very effective run game.
All this, despite the fact star linebacker Kwon Alexander missed all but two series due to a hamstring injury. It doesn’t look serious, but the same injury is keeping the new captain out for at least this week’s game as well.
This obviously isn’t good news, but considering how well rookie Kendall Beckwith played in his absence, and the effectiveness of the defense without him, it isn’t doomsday material either.
Exploiting Chicago’s weakness was on full display as well. In my film study prior to the match-up against the Bears, I noted how their defensive front got little to no pass rush without the aid of blitzes.
The same thing was true in the Buccaneers contest, and Winston was able to stand strong in the pocket when he needed to. Afforded all the time an NFL quarterback can ask for, he was effective, and had zero turnovers to start the season.
So what are the Vikings’ strengths and weaknesses? Let’s get to it.