eye-3-yellow-3d-2-new-logo philly_kyw_new philly_94wip_new 35h_cbssportsrad_philly philly_wpht_new

TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 9: Minnesota Vikings At Seattle Seahawks

Vikings
Seahawks
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Minnesota Vikings
Seattle Seahawks v Detroit Lions
Quarterback
Every year there are some teams that shock the football world because they get off to excellent starts and surprise the experts. However, those hot starts are often difficult to sustain. The Vikings are learning that and so is quarterback Christian Ponder. Earlier in the season he was keeping it clean and avoiding mistakes, but that’s no longer the case.
Winner Russell Wilson is a warrior for Pete Carroll and the Seahawks. He may not have the same pedigree or talent level as Andrew Luck or RGIII, but Wilson is simply going to find a way to beat you when he’s involved in a close game at home. Wilson should continue to get better each week and find a way to make key throws even though his numbers may not be spectacular.
Offense
Winner The Vikings have the kind of weapons that can be difficult to contain in certain games. Adrian Peterson is a powerful and explosive running back who can punish opposing tacklers. Percy Harvin is an athletic and tough receiver who can break any game open with his bold moves. Michael Jenkins is a solid complementary receiver.
The Seahawks believe in Marshawn Lynch and his punishing style. He has been quite solid this year and he is coming off a 105-yard game against Detroit in which he had a 77-yard TD run in the second quarter. Sidney Rice is a big-play receiver who should be extra motivated to have a special game against his former team.
Defense
The Vikings are loaded with talent on the defensive side of the field. Jared Allen returns a speedy, nasty pass rushing defensive end. Chad Greenway is a discipline and effective linebacker who will always get himself in the proper position and make tackles. Free safety Harrison Smith is coming off a 13-tackle effort against the Bucs.
Winner The Seahawks are going to come after Ponder with a powerful pass rush. Defensive end Chris Clemons did not have a solid game against Detroit, but he is a top-ranked pass rusher who has 7.0 sacks this season. He is going to have to get after Ponder in a big way. Outside linebacker K.J. Wright had 11 tackles against Detroit and leads the team with 65 stops.
Special Teams
Winner Harvin can give the Vikings explosive plays as a returner. His explosive speed and superlative instincts allows him to find the weak spots on the opposing coverage teams and make big plays. Blair Walsh has had an amazing year, making 17-of-18 field goal attempts.
Leon Washington does not have to take a back seat to anyone as a returner. While he is not as fast as he once was, he is still quick enough and he makes up for his loss of a half-step with greater knowledge, technique and elusiveness.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Minnesota Vikings Seattle Seahawks v Detroit Lions

While the edges are split, Wilson is getting better at the quarterback position while Ponder is struggling right now and he may be going through more difficult times before he picks it back up. While Minnesota has an edge on special teams, it’s a narrow one and Washington could hit a big one when the game is on the line.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. San Diego Chargers v San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: San Diego Chargers At Arizona Cardinals

    Philip Rivers went into the 2013 season with questions about his performance hanging over his head, but he answered those questions with ease last year as he enjoyed a brilliant year. Rivers and Chargers head coach Mike McCoy developed an excellent rapport, and that manifested itself in Rivers’ performance.

  2. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Detroit Lions

    After back-to-back subpar seasons from Eli Manning, this is a critical year in his career.

  3. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Indianapolis Colts At Denver Broncos

    Andrew Luck has had two solid seasons to start his career, and he should be coming into his own in his third year.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31,611 other followers