Week 8 kicks off tonight as the Minnesota Vikings host the Tampa Bay Bucs. Our TNF analyst Trent Green filed this report:
Match-up to watch:
Tampa Bay has two tall receivers in Vincent Jackson (6’5″) and Mike Williams (6’2″). They also like making big plays, with Jackson averaging 21.7 yards per catch and Williams 19.4. Minnesota has 6’2″ Chris Cook at one corner, but 5’9″ Antoine Winfield at the other. Rookie corner Josh Robinson (5’10″) will get plenty of work as well. With this size advantage, look for the Bucs to take some shots when the Vikings give them one-on-one coverage.
Something has to give:
Greg Schiano has a long track record as a masterful defensive coach. He has his young Bucs defense 3rd in the NFL stopping the run, giving up only 76 yards per game. The Vikings’ Adrian Peterson enters the game 3rd in the NFL with 652 yards rushing and the Vikings average 132 yards a game on the ground. Look for Schiano to stack against the run and force QB Christian Ponder to beat the Bucs through the air. By the way, the Tampa Bay defense is 6th in the NFL with nine interceptions.
Very special, special teams:
A big reason for the Vikings’ early-season success has been their special teams. They have a kickoff return for a touchdown, a punt return for a touchdown, a blocked FG, a blocked extra point and a 55-yard FG by rookie kicker Blair Walsh. Speaking of Walsh, he is 16 for 17 on field goals this season and is 3 of 3 from over 50 yards. For the Buccaneers, five of their six games have been decided by a touchdown or less. So special teams and field position could be a major factor tonight.
- Trent Green
Former NFL quarterback Trent Green is Westwood One’s Thursday Night Football analyst. Trent, Ian Eagle and sideline reporter Rocky Boiman are in Minnesota to bring you all the action of Bucs-Vikings. Coverage from Mall of America Field begins at 8 PM Eastern tonight.
Most Recent NFL Posts
After the games, we talk to guys who get it done. When you want to get it done, turn to Grainger -- the one-stop shop for the ones who never stop. Grainger... for the ones who get it...
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - After the Seattle Seahawks demolished the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, our sideline reporters Mark Malone and James Lofton got into the scrum on the field at MetLife...
Check out our Facebook page for a gallery of images from Super Bowl XLVIII.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - With a suffocating defense and an efficient offense, the Seattle Seahawks destroyed the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII 43-8 to secure the first championship in franchise...
10:45 PM ET: Here's the final call of the game.
9:39 PM ET: Less than nine minutes remain in Super Bowl XLVIII and all that's left now is to wind down the clock. Time to head to the sidelines...
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - It's hard to think of much else to say about Peyton Manning's fantastic 2013 season, during which he set new NFL records for passing yards and touchdown passes with 5,477 yards...
Peyton Manning comes in to Super Bowl XLVIII with years of experience, a Super Bowl ring and the gaudiest single-season passing stats in NFL history.
Russell Wilson, on the other, comes in having...
Few players have made as many headlines as Richard Sherman in the lead-up to Super Bowl XLVIII following his huge play to end the NFC Championship and his subsequent comments on and off the field in...
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots fell a game short of winning yet another AFC Championship and a trip to New York/New Jersey for Super Bowl XLVIII. The loss to Denver kept Brady from reaching a...
And so it has all come down to this. Super Bowl XLVIII is this afternoon and just like that, the NFL season will be in the books. It'll also mark the end of our analyst picks for...