After last week’s disastrous NFL opener, the Minnesota Vikings (0-1) had a lot to work on this week while preparing to take on the Chicago Bears (1-0) Sunday.
One key to the Vikings returning to their winning ways is the return of DT Kevin Williams. Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams said Thursday he expects Williams to be back in the lineup Sunday. He also expects him to be fully healed from a bone bruise and hyperextension of his right knee that he suffered in the preseason game against San Francisco.
“Win or lose, my personal experience is, I hate missing a game,” said Williams. “You want to be out there contributing, helping the team win. For us to lose the way we did, letting Reggie run the ball effectively and then the screens, I just felt you always could help out and do your part.”
Another key will be better run blocking for RB Adrian Peterson. Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave discussed the problems with Peterson’s blocking on Sunday. Peterson’s first carry of the game was a 78-yard touchdown, but after that he only managed 15 yards the rest of the game.
“I think the defensive front proved tough to block. We did miss some blocks. We had some negative runs which is uncharacteristic,” said Musgrave. “Usually when we run it with Adrian once, twice, three times in a row we end up in third and manageable or we have ourselves a first down.”
The third key to winning Sunday will be the play of QB Christian Ponder. Ponder, who threw for 236 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions Sunday, will look to minimize turnovers and make adjustments throughout the game if he is struggling.
“We have a young guy that has made a bunch of good plays in the short time that he’s been here,” said Musgrave. “He’s also had his mistakes so we’re of the mindset of continuing to push him. We’re on the demanding side, and I know he’s on the demanding side of himself too, so we want to keep pushing and working for development.”
The Vikings will take on the Bears at Soldier Field at noon CST on Sunday.