The Sports Daily > Ravens Football Machine
Ravens must not look past Vikings…I expect a tough battle…

To complete their current homestand trifecta, the Ravens have one obstacle left—the Minnesota Vikings. Even though the Vikes are 3-8-1, they are playing with pride right now, coming off a 23-20 upset of the Chicago Bears.

The Vikings may be 0-5-1 on the road this year so far, but consider that they've won or tied 3 of their last 4 games. They're trending tough.

Here's an ESPN summary of how they're doing it right now:

Peterson, Vikings outlast Bears in overtime
Blair Walsh's 34-yard field goal with 1:43 left in overtime gave the Minnesota Vikings a 23-20 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday after both teams missed kicks in the extra period.

Also, here's a link to the Vikes' QB situation right now: Vikings waiting to name starting QB vs. Ravens
The Minnesota Vikings are once again in a holding pattern at quarterback, as they wait to see if Christian Ponder can return from a concussion in time to get ready for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens.

We all know about Adrian Peterson and how he's still doing it as one of the most explosive runing backs in the league. AP could be a real problem for the Ravens run defense, which has struggled at times this season.

How the teams match up as a whole right now:

Team Averages & NFL Ranks

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Total Yards MIN




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Garrett Downing had a nice piece over at Ravens.com NFL site where he broke down the "5 Things You Need to Know about the Vikings" as they come into Baltimore this coming Sunday to try to mess up the Ravens' current run:

"Big quarterback questions…..
The quarterback position has been a carousel for Minnesota this season. Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman have all started games for the Vikings, and all three passers have struggled. Ponder started last week’s game against the Bears, but he ultimately suffered a concussion and was replaced by Cassel. Freeman has not played since Oct. 21 when we has picked up by the Vikings (from Tampa Bay) and struggled mightily in his debut. With Ponder’s status uncertain because of the concussion, the Vikings could go with Freeman or Cassel Sunday in Baltimore.

"The defense is vulnerable…..
Much has been made about Minnesota’s uncertainty at quarterback, but the defense has been the team’s biggest problem this season. The Vikings statistically have one of the NFL’s worst defenses, and rank last in the league by allowing 30.5 points per game. The unit also ranks 30th in the NFL by giving up an average of 407.6 total yards per game. The Ravens offense has shown improvement in recent weeks, and facing a struggling Vikings defense could present opportunities for quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens to break.  

"Leslie Frazier could be fighting for his job…..
The Vikings surprised some people by making the playoffs last season, but that playoff run raised expectations coming into this year. Now Head Coach Leslie Frazier is facing heat after his team’s 3-8-1 start. The Vikings are likely not headed to the postseason, but Frazier could be coaching for his job during the month of December. He is 18-30-1 during his time with the Vikings, and he could need a strong finish to extend his tenure into 2014.

"Down season for Jared Allen…..
The face of the Vikings defense for the last several years has been defensive end Jared Allen. The talented defender with a colorful personality has been one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, putting up double digit sack totals in seven of his nine NFL seasons. He has notched at least 11 sacks every year since 2006, but he’s in danger of not reaching that total this season. Allen has six sacks through 12 games, and has just 1.5 sacks in his last six contests. The 31-year-old defender is still a threat to put up sacks in a hurry, but he is not having the same kind of success that he’s been accustomed to throughout his career.

"Adrian Peterson is still a beast….
While the Vikings are in the midst of a down season, not much has changed at running back. Peterson is still the best running back in the league and arguably the best of this era. He is not on pace to match his record-setting numbers from last season, but he still has 1,208 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns. Peterson showed his ability Sunday against the Bears when he rushed for 211 yards. He is the Vikings’ biggest weapon, and stopping him is the top priority to slowing down their offense. "