Vikings Favorites vs Ravens Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium – Trap Game?

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JANUARY 1: Jerick McKinnon #21 and Kyle Rudolph #82 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrate after McKinnon scored a 10 yard touchdown run in the third quarter of the game against the Chicago Bears on January 1, 2017 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

All week-long the Vikings’ headlines have been on the quarterback situation; which one will play and who will come back first, between Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford. But, there’s still a game to be played on Sunday at noon. It will still take place at U.S. Bank Stadium and the quarterback will still be backup, Case Keenum

The next two weeks set up perfectly for the Vikings to leave the rest of the season to whomever is healthy enough to take the job after the bye week. After the Vikings play the Ravens on Sunday, they will travel to Cleveland, before heading into a Week 9 bye. Both Baltimore and Cleveland bring up the ass of the AFC North. OK, Baltimore is in 2nd place in that terrible division but they aren’t the Baltimore team some remember.

Flacco has been REALLY bad. He has thrown for less yards than Case Keenum even though he has played in all of Baltimore’s games. Not only that, but Flacco’s also thrown for 8 interceptions while only completing 4 passes for touchdowns. It’s not the same Flacco as past seasons.

The Vikings also matchup well against the Ravens. The Ravens’ best attribute has been their running game. Unfortunately for them, that is what the Vikings’ defense is best at stopping. And the Vikings’ defense is good at just about everything. They rank 3rd in the league in rushing yards allowed, holding opposing offenses to just 78.7 yards per game..

Expect the Vikings to attack early and often with the run, until Baltimore can stop them. They haven’t been able to stop anyone all year, ranking 30th, surrendering 141.3 yards per game. It’s been even worse lately. Over the last 3 games, the Ravens have given up a ridiculous 170.7 per game. Meanwhile, they rank in the top-5 in passing yards allowed per game, at 189.5. The Vikings are in the top-half of the NFL in rushing yards per game. Expect them to try and lean heavier that way, Sunday.

The Vikings stack up against the Ravens about as well as you can hope vs another NFL team. And, they are playing at home. So, this game should be in the bag right?

Ha….

I do expect the Vikings to pull out a victory. I am most afraid of Minnesota happening. The Vikings are a solid 4-2 right now and with a win against Baltimore this week and Cleveland next week, they could be sitting really pretty at 6-2, entering the bye. With the division falling apart around them, the Vikings could really take control of their playoff lives over the next couple weeks. Then, we get to see who leads us in the playoffs from the QB position.

My problem… it seems to easy. It’s never too easy here…

The defense should be good like always. Can the offensive line continue to hold up for this run game? That could be the deciding factor. If they can, McKinnon and Murray should be running wild all afternoon.

Prediction: Vikings WIN 31-17

Eric Strack (Founder/Editor)
Minnesota Sports Fan
MinnesotaSportsFan.com @RealMNSportsFan

Sources: TeamRankings.com, ESPN

Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images