Jacksonville Jaguars @ Minnesota Vikings - Week 1 (1pm est. CBS)
|09-05-2012, 06:22 PM||away - #21|
|09-05-2012, 07:50 PM||online - #22|
|09-05-2012, 07:56 PM||online - #23|
if people don't want to watch the game then [pic] and don't watch it. [pic]
simple as that
|09-05-2012, 08:00 PM||away - #24|
I heard we get the worst replacement refs for this game. Should be fun.
|09-05-2012, 08:03 PM||online - #25|
[pic] Been waiting all summer for some football Ponder will ball
|09-05-2012, 08:06 PM||online - #26|
|09-06-2012, 05:51 PM||online - #27|
Where: Mall of America Field, Metrodome (turf, indoors)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Spread: Vikings by 4
2011 records -- Vikings (3-13); Jaguars (5-11)
Past results: Two most recent meetings -- Nov. 23, 2008: Vikings 30, Jaguars 12; November 28, 2004: Vikings 27, Jaguars 16. Series record: Vikings hold a 3-1 advantage.
What matters: As far as Super Bowl implications are concerned, not a lot matters here as two rebuilding teams with young quarterbacks face-off in the season opener. The Vikings have made a concerted effort to get younger, and at several positions -- secondary and offensive line -- that is a step in the right direction, but no guarantee of success. They have improved at some skill positions, adding TE John Carlson and WR Jerome Simpson, but Simpson is not available Sunday because he's suspended. The offense should be able to move the ball against a Jaguars defense that allowed an average of 374.7 yards in the preseason. But the key will be to score TDs -- something the Vikings offense struggled with in the preseason. The Vikings younger interior defense -- third-year MLB Jasper Brinkley, second-year SS Mistral Raymond and rookie FS Harrison Smith -- will be learning on the fly and relying on the elite pass rushing front of DE Jared Allen and DT Kevin Williams to keep the opposing quarterback rattled and making bad decisions. If the game isn't too big for the younger players, the Vikings should be should have the edge.
Who matters: This game comes down to the play of two second-year quarterbacks who had subpar seasons in 2011. QB Christian Ponder needs to take command of the offense that has more weapons for him this season. WR Percy Harvin is solid in the slot and outside, TE Kyle Rudolph is a big target inside and RB Toby Gerhart will pound out some tough yardage until Adrian Peterson is completely healthy. Ponder (13 TD passes, 13 INTs, 70.1 rating in 2011) must outplay Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert (12 TDs, 11 INTs, 65.4 rating), who was taken two spots ahead of him in the 2011 draft and startedfour more games last season. The quarterback in better command of his offense will come out on top in this one.
Key matchups: For Ponder to be successful, rookie LT Matt Kalil will have to keep him clean, and Kalil's first regular season test comes against another rookie, RDE Andre Branch. Branch is a preferable first matchup for Kalil when you think that the Bears' Julius Peppers and the Niners' Justin Smith are in his future, but Branch averaged 17.5 sacks per season in college. Kalil's ability to stop him will say a lot about the outcome of this game and how the season will go for the Vikings.
Injuries of note: The two marquee running backs in this game will likely be playing supporting roles as Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is coming off a repaired ACL and MCL in his left knee and Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew just got into camp this week due to a contract squabble. Both are expected to see some action, but it will be limited and not likely very impactful until, perhaps, the game is on the line.
Inside stuff: While much of the pregame attention will focus on the game-time decision of Peterson's availability, the Vikings still claim to be a run-first offense, so the Jaguars had better game plan for Gerhart. Gerhart rushed for 4.6 average in three preseason games, while his backup Matt Asiata rushed for 5.8 yards per carry. Gerhart could pound on the defense and then give way to a rested and more-than-ready Peterson when the defense is tired.
Connections: The Vikings and Jaguars don't have any players who've switched teams in recent years, but the Jaguars do have a tendency to hire former Vikings players as coaches. First-year head coach Mike Mularkey (who coached with Vikings OC Bill Musgrave in Atlanta) played tight end for the Vikings from 1983-88 and he replaced Jack Del Rio, who was a Vikings linebacker from 1992-95. In addition, former Vikings tight end and head coach Mike Tice (now in Chicago) worked for Del Rio as the[..]istant head coach of the Jaguars from 2007-2009.
Stat you should know: The Vikings tied for least number of interceptions last season with eight, and actually set an NFL record by going nine consecutive games without having one. But the 2012 secondary is quite different looking than at the end of last season and should be improved. Regardless, Gabbert and rookie WR Justin Blackmon will test them through the air early and often.
Record watch: Peterson was injured in the penultimate game of the season in 2011, he was only 67 yards away from breaking Robert Smith's team career rushing record (1,411 yards). If he does get the green light to play, that 12-year old mark could go down.
Looking ahead: The Vikings open at home for the first time since 2007 and can't afford to drop this game or next week's against the Colts in Indianapolis. The schedule stiffens with the next two games against the 49ers and in Detroit, so the Vikings need a 2-0 start or risk facing the prospect of another very long season.
Prediction: Vikings 24, Jaguars 17
|09-07-2012, 11:10 PM||online - #28|
A snapshot look at the Vikings as they prepare for Sunday's regular-season opener against the Jaguars at Mall of America Field.
PLAYERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Left tackle Matt Kalil and safety Harrison Smith. Yes, there likely will be a lot of attention paid Sunday to a certain eager running back wearing that No. 28 jersey and to Christian Ponder, the second-year quarterback whose 2012 development might be the biggest X-factor in the rebuilding efforts. But in Week 1, this year's two first-round draft picks will need to provide early evidence that they are as good as the Vikings believe them to be.
Both Kalil and Smith will start. And the Vikings hope they can permanently ink both players into those roles for years to come.
Kalil has shown noticeable growth since his arrival, particularly in jelling with left guard Charlie Johnson.
Said coach Leslie Frazier: "Once we got into padded practices, for them to be able to communicate and work off one another [helped Matt] being able to get more accustomed to our offense. ... But his confidence, his athletic ability, his knowledge, all of those things have been there."
Smith, meanwhile, was singled out this week by defensive coordinator Alan Williams as "a calming influence" for the defense. The coaches love his tenacity and reliability for almost always being where he's supposed to be. Now it's time for all that to show up on game day.
MOST PRESSING QUESTION
Will Adrian Peterson play? Yeah, yeah, yeah. We've asked that question 2,832 times since training camp opened in July. But Friday was the last opportunity to do so before the opener. And here's what Frazier had to say after Friday's practice: "There's no reason to make a decision before Sunday. We're going to talk with him again tomorrow and see how he feels and we'll make a decision."
Frazier had contended Thursday that Peterson's status would be finalized by Friday night or Saturday morning. Now it sounds as if the Vikings might not make a final determination until game day. So, as always, stay tuned.
Peterson is officially listed as questionable on the injury report.
KEEP AN EYE ON ...
The Vikings only have three backup offensive linemen on their 53-man roster. One (Geoff Schwartz) is just 33 days removed from sports hernia surgery and might not yet be back in game shape. Another (Mark Asper) arrived as a waiver wire pickup from Buffalo last weekend and will be inactive Sunday. So that might leave Joe Berger as the only dependable reserve for the opener. Berger filled in at both guard and center a year ago and did well when called upon. But what would happen if either starting tackle, Kalil or Phil Loadholt, were injured? Logic says Johnson would be the emergency tackle option with Berger then moving into the open guard slot.
The Vikings, obviously, hope they don't have to visit any such contingency plans.
New coach Mike Mularkey recognizes the struggles quarterback Blaine Gabbert had as a rookie in 2011, averaging just 154 passing yards in his 14 starts while completing 50.4 percent of his passes and taking 39 sacks. But Mularkey also points out that Gabbert was 22 years old when he made his debut with just three college seasons under his belt. Gabbert also came out of a shotgun spread offense at Missouri. "It's a little more of a challenge when you've got to put him under center," Mularkey said.
Also, like Christian Ponder, last summer's lockout deprived Gabbert of the offseason work that could have accelerated his growth.
"Those [organized team activities] are such a valuable teaching time," Mularkey said. "There's no rush, no installation, no game."
The Jaguars believe Gabbert's command and pocket poise are elevated from a year ago but won't have definitive proof until Sunday.
INJURY REPORT UPDATE
The Vikings list only two starters: Peterson and defensive tackle Letroy Guion, who's listed as probable because of a knee injury. Punt returner Marcus Sherels also is probable (ankle). Linebacker Marvin Mitchell, receiver Jarius Wright and safety Andrew Sendejo are out because of sprained ankles.
Jacksonville starters listed are receiver Justin Blackmon (probable, ankle); cornerback Derek Cox (doubtful, hamstring); and linebacker Daryl Smith (out, groin)
Smith and Kalil future pillars of the franchise [pic]
|09-07-2012, 11:29 PM||away - #29|
nicca did you not see that Jets vs Ravens game last year... Some football games are complete snorefest
|09-08-2012, 12:16 AM||online - #30|
This is the least sought after game of the week, quit kidding yourself.
|09-08-2012, 12:17 AM||online - #31|
|09-08-2012, 12:24 AM||online - #32|
Throw some jalapenos and Sriracha sauce in that !!. [pic]
|09-08-2012, 01:53 AM||away - #33|
Jaguars Mularkey and OC Bob Bratkowski believe in Scripting Opening Plays
The Jaguars’ 44 first-quarter points last season were seventh-fewest in the NFL. In that group of seven, five of the teams have new starting quarterbacks and four have new head coaches compared to Week 1 last season.
The Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts are the only teams in the group with both a new coach (Chuck Pagano, Mike Mularkey) and new quarterbacks (Andrew Luck, Blaine Gabbert).
One of the ways Mularkey and offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski hope to spark the Jaguars’ start is by scripting the first 10 to 15 plays and certain situations.
“I like players being able to know, ‘OK, here’s the first 15 plays, here’s the first third-and-10, here’s the first third-and-5,’ so they have something concrete to go and study,” Bratkowski said after practice Thursday.
Bratkowski will present the script to the offensive players Saturday night at the team hotel in Minneapolis.
From a strategic standpoint, the Jaguars can call plays to see how the Minnesota defense reacts.
“We’re showing the defense what we want to show them and we try to find out what their plan is and how they’re going play certain personnel,” Bratkowski said.
Green Bay led the NFL last season with 132 first-quarter points, followed by Atlanta (120). Mularkey was the Falcons’ offensive coordinator and Bratkowski the quarterbacks coach.
In his previous 12 seasons with the Jaguars, center Brad Meester said, “I’ve had different guys in here,” who liked to script the first set of plays.
“I do like to have an idea,” he said. “I don’t have to necessarily know the order, but it’s a good idea to know some of the initial plays so you can really rehearse them in your head. It gives you another way to kind of play the game in your head before it happens.”
The other variable to consider, especially in an opening game, is being prepared for what wrinkles the Vikings will present.
“This is my [21st ] opening day and the first thing we will tell players the night before the game is, ‘Don’t be surprised by anything,’” Bratkowski said. “I’ve had teams in a 4-3 defense all through the previous season and all the way through the preseason and then they come out in a 3-4 defense, which is a radical change. … The biggest thing is after those series are over and you see what’s different, you talk it through and it’s not going to be anything we can’t handle, but it’s going to be something we’ll need to communicate about.”
But it works both ways, right? The Jaguars could have something up their collective sleeve? “Oh yeah,” Bratkowski said. “Ohhhh yeah.”
|09-08-2012, 01:55 AM||online - #34|
|09-08-2012, 02:04 AM||away - #35|
Peterson: Without MJD, Jaguars are terrible
It’s too bad for Maurice Jones-Drew that Adrian Peterson isn’t running the Jaguars front office.
If he was, Jones-Drew might not have had to held out a month for nothing.
When the Vikings running back was discussing his Jaguars counterpart, he made it clear how much he respects Jones-Drew’s ability.
“Look at Jones-Drew,” Peterson said, via Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com. “He was their whole offense last year. So, without him, the Jaguars are terrible just to be honest.”
It’s almost hard to imagine the Jags being worse than their 5-11 mess last year, but I suppose it’s possible.
For his part, Jones-Drew said he was rooting for Peterson to recover from his knee problems, showing running back solidarity.
“I’ve always been watching, seeing how things are going, hoping and wishing him well,” Jones-Drew said. “Obviously as running backs we have to stick together because everybody is trying to devalue us or say, ‘We’re not this or we’re not that,’ which is pretty funny.
“He’s coming back off something tough. I think we have all in some way or another experienced this type of adversity and the type of guy he is he’s going to be able to get through that and be able to make plays. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see him on Sunday. I can’t wait to see how he looks.”
Between Jones-Drew’s month off which will have him coming off the bench, and Peterson’s health, what should have been a matchup of two of the league’s elite runners may be little more than a footnote Sunday.
But they’ve got each other’s back.
AP delivering that ether/bulletin board material. Might not be smart to call out the team you probably won't even play against and if you do, in a marginal role.
|09-08-2012, 02:07 AM||online - #36|
|09-08-2012, 02:09 AM||away - #37|
Dissing your opponent before the game usually don't end well though. He better hope if he gets the ball the defense don't go straight for that knee after his comments. That'd be !!ed up, but once you call a team terrible, all bets are off.
We'll see how it plays out.
|09-08-2012, 02:16 AM||online - #38|
We would smash your team son. Don't get it twisted.
|09-08-2012, 02:24 AM||online - #39|
|09-08-2012, 01:07 PM||away - #40|
I been waiting for this day since the Super Bowl ended.
It's almost time. Can't wait to see Blackmon in action and get a look at our defense. Just sucks Cox or Smith won't be there. Hopefully Monroe can contain Allen and we good money.
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