Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith - Mandatory Credit: USA Today

Baltimore Ravens vs. Minnesota Vikings: Uncle Pauly's Keys to the Game

Viking.  This comes from an Old Norse “vikingr”. It means to go on an expedition overseas…or in this case over the river and through the woods to Baltimore. This game should have some Viking flavor with snow expected and a high of 30 degrees (yes, I know its twice that temperature now, but it’s Maryland weather…if you don’t like it, wait until tomorrow because it’ll be different!).

So here’s Uncle Pauly’s insight for the week:  Get some sleep when you can because when you have a newborn baby they’re always hungry or needing a diaper change. Congratulations to Uncle Pauly and his wife Beth and we welcome baby June (which is kind of funny because she was born in November)! Seriously though…the keys:

1.  Stop Adrian Peterson.

2.  Stop Adrian Peterson.

3.  Stop Adrian Peterson.

4.  Stop Adri…oh you get the idea.

The Vikings are at the bottom of the league in almost every category that does not involve Adrian “All Day” Peterson.  He is their Viking Longship. They live or die in it. Except for the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and Green Bay Packers, if you keep the Longship under 100 yards this season you’ve got a win. Peterson is the best running back the NFL has seen in quite awhile.

Can the Baltimore Ravens stuff the run again? The defensive line is playing better against the run of late.  Ngata, Canty, and Jones are looking good despite being banged up like a cop car from the Blues Brothers movie, and the linebackers are backing up the line fairly well.  Which reminds me, a shout out to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who gave the Ravens two great players this year: Daryl Smith and Eugene Monroe.

And the secondary is also much improved. Lardarius Webb has resumed his old form of shutting down receivers like the power at the New Orleans Superdome. As Shehan Peiris from Bleacher Report has noticed, “The sample size is small, but Jimmy Smith is playing the best football of his life”.  Smith’s technique has really improved throughout the season and it’s snowing…I mean showing.

The Ravens know how to play December football and Joe Flacco seems to have his best games when the season is on the line. The Vikings on the other hand have not won a road game this season.  If the Ravens can’t cross this fjord, they don’t deserve to be in the playoffs anyway.

 

Tags: Adrian Peterson Baltimore Ravens Jimmy Smith Lardarius Webb

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