The Detroit Lions are set to take on the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday for their last game at Ford Field of the season. To get a feel for the Vikings’ side of things I got together with Adam Carlson over at The Viking Age for a quick pregame Q&A.
Below are my questions followed by his responses.
1. Last time we did this thing I asked if hiring Mike Zimmer was the right move. At 6-7, has Zimmer given this team hope for the Future?
"Oh, absolutely! Mike Zimmer has shown he has the mindset and ability to change things for this team. The work he’s done with players like Xavier Rhodes and Robert Blanton in the short period of time he’s been the head coach of the Vikings is amazing. In the first year of his coaching, he has dealt with a lot of bad situations including injuries and losing their star player due to legal issues. Fans shouldn’t ask for much more than he’s done."
2. The Vikings are 4-2 in their last six games this season almost pulling off an upset against the Packers in one of those games. What has been the key to success for the Vikings?
"Honestly, the Vikings are just working on meshing. The patchwork offensive line is always a work in progress. Minnesota has lost two starting running backs (Peterson – legal, McKinnon – IR). There’s a rookie QB developing a rapport with his receivers. To me, it’s just this team taking some time to get things figured out. This season has been clustermess, and the Vikings are fairing the storm pretty well."
3. How would you assess Teddy Bridgewater‘s rookie season so far?
"Bridgewater started out this season trying to be too perfect. Since then, he’s loosened up a bit and even started chucking the ball down the field a bit. He’s found a receiver that he is very comfortable with in Charles Johnson and has had two of his best games as a professional his last two weeks. He’s definitely given Vikings fans some hope that he can potentially be a long term answer at quarterback for Minnesota."
4. What is the key matchup for Sunday?
"The biggest thing to watch for the Vikings is the left tackle position. Although Matt Kalil held his own against the Jets fairly well, he has had what a polite person would call a “disappointing season”. Kalil now leads all offensive linemen in number of penalties this season has been a turnstile for several of the better defensive ends in the league. Anyone rushing at Kalil is the place to watch."
5. What your prediction for Sunday? Don’t forget a score!
"Although I like the direction this Minnesota Vikings team is going on, I think the Lions will probably knock out any slim hopes that the team has of the playoffs on Sunday. I think Minnesota will compete with Detroit, but come up short in the long run. My final guess is 31-21 Detroit."
For more on the Vikings, head to The Viking Age.
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