The 2012 season kicks off for the Minnesota Vikings in less than 24 hours from now. The Vikings will kick it off at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Neither team is entering the season with much expectations. Both teams start a second year quarter back and both teams are unsure how much they will use their star running backs. It is funny how much the teams mirror each other entering their first game of 2012.
It is a nice way to start the season for the Vikings. Coming off a disappointing 2011 campaign the Vikings will attempt to get into the win column right away. To do this they will have to play a sound game defensively. After a terrible offensive season Jacksonville’s main goal of the off season was to improve their passing game. They did this by drafting Justin Blackmon and acquiring Laurent Robinson. Pressuring Blaine Gabbert will be the key to Minnesota’s defensive success. If Gabbert is given time he will be able to get the ball down field to the newly acquired receivers. With star running back Maurice Jones-Drew missing all of camp do to a hold out you would think that Jacksonville will be ready to show off their new and improved passing game. It is up to all-pro Jared Allen to disrupt this and be in the backfield early and often.
Offensively it will be the Vikings goal to see progression in Christian Ponder from week to week. In the opener the offensive load will be on his shoulders will Adrian Peterson as a game-time decision. He is expected to be active but coming off his serious knee injury it is unclear how many snaps he will be in the game for. This will hurt the Vikings chance to win this game. With a tough schedule ahead Minnesota can ill afford a loss in their home opener against a lowly Jaguars team.