Baltimore Ravens: Keys to victory against the Vikings

The Baltimore Ravens (6-6) welcome the Minnesota Vikings (3-8-1) to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland on Sunday, December 8. Game time is set for 1:00pm EST and will be broadcast on FOX.

The Week 14 matchup against the Vikings rounds off the Ravens’ three game home stretch. With a victory on Sunday, the Ravens would improve to 7-6, but more importantly, they will improve in their division. The AFC North has been a tight race this season and the Ravens need to win to help their playoff chances. But there are a few things the team needs to focus on if they want to escape Sunday’s game with a victory.

Adrian Peterson

The 2012 NFL MVP is listed as “questionable” for Sunday’s game. But recent reports from the Vikings believe that Adrian Peterson will be playing in the game this weekend.

Baltimore Ravens

Adrian Peterson (Tom Lynn/AP Photo)

As one of the most prominent running backs to ever play the game, Peterson will be a challenge against the Ravens in Week 14.

“He can create his own space and he can be his own blocker,” Ravens defensive lineman Chris Canty said about Peterson. “It’s very impressive when you see that. He can run through you. He can run around you. His agility, quickness, and vision are all assets and it makes him a really tough guy to defend.”

The Ravens know what they are going up against and they are prepared to stop Peterson.

“They want to run the ball,” head coach John Harbaugh stated. “We’ve got to stop the run. But it’s not just that. It’s the play-action passes and it’s the big plays out of the rest of the guys.”

Peterson leads the league in rushing yards with 1,208 on the season. Without a doubt, Peterson is the deadliest force on the Vikings’ attack and the Ravens will have to shift their focus to stopping the run game.

Get to the quarterback

Week after week, the Vikings’ quarterback situation seems to be an issue. This week is no exception.

After suffering from a concussion during last week’s game against the Chicago Bears, Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder has been ruled out for Sunday’s game. Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has stated that Matt Cassel will likely be starting quarterback in Week 14.

Regardless of who would get the go-ahead, the Ravens pass rush will have to get to the quarterback quickly. However, the Ravens may have to do that without linebacker Elvis Dumervil. Dumervil is doubtful for Sunday’s due to an ankle injury.

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Test the Vikings’ secondary

The Vikings’ defense is currently ranked 30th in the league when it comes to letting up passing yards.

Joe Flacco has put the long ball to the test in the past few weeks and it has paid off. With Flacco’s strong arm and the Vikings’ patchy secondary, the Ravens should be able to put up outstanding numbers in this week’s matchup.

The Vikings let up and average of 30.5 points per game, the most by any team in the NFL. The Ravens need to capitalize on the Vikings’ struggling secondary and target the receivers downfield.

 

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