Each week we go Inside the Enemy Camp with the FanSided editor who covers the Chiefs’ next opponent. This week we sat down with Clint Starks of The Viking Age.
TVA is an awesome Vikings blog and has been getting it done for the FanSided Network for some time now. Be sure to head on over there to find out what is going on from the Vikings perspective.
Now, let’s go Inside the Enemy Camp with Clint Starks and The Viking Age!
There is the obvious Vikings-Chiefs Jared Allen storyline going into this game. How has Mr. Mullet been performing so far this season?
The Love Number has been excellent. He came into the season saying he thought he was back and he thought this team was going to be pretty good. Jared Allen has delivered on his end when a few Vikings have not (read: Donovan McNabb). For instance, not a soul had touched Matt Stafford coming into the Lions game this last week. Allen changed all of that recording 3 sacks and applying pressure for most of the afternoon. Jared did all he could to not let the win slip away last week but alas he was not able to play QB. By and large I think we are expecting big things from him this Sunday against the Chiefs.
I noticed Adrian Peterson appears to be doing the bulk of his damage in the first half this season. Why the drop off after halftime? Are teams stopping him or are the Vikings just not giving him the ball?
Well that, my friend, is the million dollar question. The stats speak for themselves in that he is not getting the ball in the second half. He stated this last week that he wants the ball in the second half and so we will wait with baited breath to see if Musgrave gives it to him. I have gone on record and stated that I do not like the play calling we have seen to date. I can understand that we don’t want to be predictable but we came into the season saying that Adrian is our guy and we are going to feed the pig. Adrian has more carries in the first quarter of games this season than he does in the entire second half of games this season. That must change.
It is no secret that teams are making adjustments to take away Adrian’s cutback lanes and teams are straight daring us to throw the ball. Look, this game of football is a chess match every Sunday and right now we are bringing a junior high school chess champion to a Gary Kasparov fight. We have blown three straight second half leads with awful play calling. I think we have had three :58 minute drives this season (all 3 & outs). That just is not going to get it done. We need to chew clock and control the TOP and we do that with Adrian Peterson. We are going to have to find creative ways to get him the rock in the second half of football games.
How bad has McNabb been this season? It looks like he’s been pretty bad.
He’s been awful. He ranks 30th or 31st in every passing statistical category. TJack ranks above him in a number of categories. How bad is that? I just posted a piece on The Viking Age about how Donovan said in the offseason he was going to prove the nay-sayers wrong this season if someone would take a chance on him. Well, it’s looking more and more like the Vikes have made a 5.05 Million dollar mistake. If he does not have a good showing this weekend at Arrowhead I think the writing is on the wall. Mostly because he is not giving your team anything that Webb and/or Ponder can’t give you. What is the advantage of having him in the game? Donovan might have a slight edge in being able to read coverage and adjusting to the speed of the game over Ponder but that is about it. It’s put up or sit down time for Donovan this week and even that might still only be delaying the inevitable.
If things start off badly for the Vikes at Arrowhead, might we see Christian Ponder Sunday? How did he look in the preseason?
First, I think it will be difficult for the Vikes to get off to a bad start against the Chiefs and especially in the first half when the Vikings have been playing their best football. Having said that IF it happens I think it’s very possible we see Ponder in the game. Ideally, I think they would like to insert him into a bad situation at home but at the same time nothing like baptism by fire. If we are going to see what we have in the kid then let’s see how he reacts in one of the best stadiums in the league against one of the loudest fans in the bidness.
He was inconsistent in the preseason. There were times he looked really sharp and other times he looked overwhelmed. I can recall a couple times at training camp that he looked superb and wondered if we really needed McNabb and then other times he looked like he couldn’t start for the FSU Seminoles. There is some concern with his arm strength and whether or not he can get the ball deep. The good news for Ponder is we are not stretching the field anyway so he doesn’t have to throw the ball deep. All in all, my overall sense is should the Vikes lose this game and/or Donovan struggle then Viking Nation would like to see what Ponder has.
What is your prediction for Sunday’s game?
Look, I’m a guest here and I don’t want to offend but the Chiefs are not very good at the moment. The rash of injuries have just taken its toll on the Red, White and Yellow. On tape it seems the Chiefs still want to run the ball but I’m not sure Thomas Jones and McCluster are scaring anyone. So I think the Vikes come into this game begging for Matt Cassel to beat us. The Chiefs are giving up almost 385 yards a game, and 123 of it to the ground game. I think the Vikings have some reason to be optimistic.
Brandon Albert has allowed 5 sacks so far this season and is on pace to allow 27 for the year. Albert is going to have his hands full of the Love Number Jared Allen this Sunday. Not too mention that our other end, Brian Robison, has looked terrific so far this season. If the Vikings can stop the run and get pressure on Cassel with only the front 4, something they did extremely well this past Sunday, then it could be a long day for the Chiefs.
I like the Vikes this week 27-17.
Thanks for having me. We hope you lose this week but we wish you nothing but the best from next week on!