Minnesota Vikings vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, November 23, 2008, 1pm EST
Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
Records: Minnesota 5-5, Jacksonville 4-6
Series history: Vikings lead, 2-1.
Five most important things for the Jaguars:
1. Protect Garrard. The Vikings have one of the best pass rushers in football in Jared Allen, and he’s already taken out two quarterbacks this season. The Vikings are great at stopping the run and if the Jags offense is going to have success it will be on the right arm of David Garrard.
2. Slow down A.P. Stopping Adrian Peterson is probably too much to ask from any defense, but the Jags must keep him from having a big 150+ yard rushing performance.
3. Playmakers must make plays. The Jaguars haven’t had many explosive plays this season and if they are going to win, somebody has to play like a Pro Bowler.
4. Dominate special teams. One of the only areas in which Jacksonville has an advantage is on special teams, as the Vikings have one of the worst return units in the league. The Jags must not only win special teams, but dominate them.
5. Pressure Frerotte. The Jaguars have had a major lack of pass rush this season and they are facing a very ordinary quarterback. They need to get in the face of Gus Frerotte and he has proven in the past that he will make mistakes.
What to look for:
1. Triple digits by Peterson. Adrian Peterson may be the best running back since Barry Sanders and it is likely that he’ll go over the century mark in rushing yards.
2. Look for the Jags to air it out. The Vikings are so good at stopping the run that the Jags will likely have to establish the passing game to set up the run.
3. Look for a big return by Brian Witherspoon. Lightning fast return man plus terrible special teams coverage should equal one or two big plays.
4. Look for three or more combined interceptions. Both quarterbacks aren’t above forcing the ball into coverage and although the secondaries have been beaten in the past, they do make some big plays.
5. Look for Matt Jones to make a difference. Jones is the Jaguars best receiver this season and he was sorely missed last week while he was out with a thigh injury. Look for him to return to form and lead the team in receiving.