Vikings-Bucs game plan

The Vikings and Bucs both have areas they need to improve after their season-opening performances, and some of the matchups to watch will determined their success.

VIKINGS

Most interesting this week against Tampa Bay will be the involvement of the Vikings' tight ends, who are expected to be a central part of the offense but were targeted only twice in the opener.

The Bucs run a similar Tampa-2 defense to the Vikings' scheme, which encourages offenses to throw underneath coverage to tight ends and running backs — as Rivers did 34 times (completing 26) against Minnesota last week.

"You've got to be able to put together some first downs so you can get a rhythm," Frazier said. "Because we weren't able to do that, then it shrinks down the playbook and you miss out on some opportunities when that happens."

Starting tight end Visanthe Shiancoe played 39 of 43 snaps in the opener. Rudolph played 21 and Kleinsasser 20, including seven of eight "F" snaps in the backfield as the Vikings continue to move forward without a fullback on the roster. Even undrafted rookie Allen Reisner got on the field for two snaps.

"It's built to try to stop outside plays or big plays downfield," McNabb said of the Bucs' scheme. "But your tight ends play a major part versus a Cover-2 scheme, and we see it every day here with our guys."

BUCS

It's simple for the Bucs: Get back to letting RB LeGarrette Blount carry the mail. Blount had only five rushing attempts last week as Tampa Bay abandoned its normal approach for a two-minute offense to start the second half.

Earnest Graham still will be used as the Bucs' third-down back. But with a better running game, QB Josh Freeman will be able to utilize play-action and make big plays downfield with WRs Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn.

The Vikings can beat you a lot of ways. But their bread and butter is RB Adrian Peterson, who only had 16 rushes at San Diego a week ago. Likewise, new QB Donovan McNabb never got into much of a flow in his first game as a Viking.

"We've got to develop that swagger as a unit, as skilled players and quarterbacks, that hey, if they've got their guy on the other side of the field, if he's one-on-one, the ball is going to him," offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. "And that's the way it's got to be with you Mike (Williams), and you Kellen (Winslow) and you Regis (Benn), you're one-on-one, the ball is going to come to you, you have to win and Josh will have that confidence to throw the ball to you and know you're going to make a play for him."



MATCHUPS TO WATCH

  • Vikings RE Jared Allen, who has at least 11 sacks each of the past four seasons, vs. Buccaneers LT Donald Penn, who gave up six sacks, nine knockdowns and 36 pressures last season. Allen had a half-sack, four QB pressures and an interception in the opener, looking more like his 2009 self than the one that struggled the first half of last season.

  • Vikings defense, which missed 13 tackles against San Diego, vs. Buccaneers HB LeGarrette Blount, who broke 50 tackles last season. Blount wasn't pleased with only getting five carries in the Bucs' Week 1 loss, and the Vikings need to tackle far better on the edges for their Tampa-2 scheme to go.

  • Bucs LB Mason Foster vs. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson. Foster, the third-round pick from Washington, was limited to 29 plays last week because the Lions used a spread offense but still managed to record seven tackles. He should get plenty of work trying to stop Peterson, arguably the best running back the Bucs will face this season.


  • Viking Update Top Stories

    \r\n\r\n","mobileBody":" Most interesting this week against Tampa Bay will be the involvement of the Vikings' tight ends, who are expected to be a central part of the offense but were targeted only twice in the opener. The Bucs run a similar Tampa-2 defense to the Vikings' scheme, which encourages offenses to throw underneath coverage to tight ends and running backs — as Rivers did 34 times (completing 26) against Minnesota last week. \"You've got to be able to put together some first downs so you can get a rhythm,\" Frazier said. \"Because we weren't able to do that, then it shrinks down the playbook and you miss out on some opportunities when that happens.\" Starting tight end Visanthe Shiancoe played 39 of 43 snaps in the opener. Rudolph played 21 and Kleinsasser 20, including seven of eight \"F\" snaps in the backfield as the Vikings continue to move forward without a fullback on the roster. Even undrafted rookie Allen Reisner got on the field for two snaps. \"It's built to try to stop outside plays or big plays downfield,\" McNabb said of the Bucs' scheme. \"But your tight ends play a major part versus a Cover-2 scheme, and we see it every day here with our guys.\" It's simple for the Bucs: Get back to letting RB LeGarrette Blount carry the mail. Blount had only five rushing attempts last week as Tampa Bay abandoned its normal approach for a two-minute offense to start the second half. Earnest Graham still will be used as the Bucs' third-down back. But with a better running game, QB Josh Freeman will be able to utilize play-action and make big plays downfield with WRs Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn. The Vikings can beat you a lot of ways. But their bread and butter is RB Adrian Peterson, who only had 16 rushes at San Diego a week ago. Likewise, new QB Donovan McNabb never got into much of a flow in his first game as a Viking. \"We've got to develop that swagger as a unit, as skilled players and quarterbacks, that hey, if they've got their guy on the other side of the field, if he's one-on-one, the ball is going to him,\" offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. \"And that's the way it's got to be with you Mike (Williams), and you Kellen (Winslow) and you Regis (Benn), you're one-on-one, the ball is going to come to you, you have to win and Josh will have that confidence to throw the ball to you and know you're going to make a play for him.\"
  • Vikings RE Jared Allen, who has at least 11 sacks each of the past four seasons, vs. Buccaneers LT Donald Penn, who gave up six sacks, nine knockdowns and 36 pressures last season. Allen had a half-sack, four QB pressures and an interception in the opener, looking more like his 2009 self than the one that struggled the first half of last season.
  • Vikings defense, which missed 13 tackles against San Diego, vs. Buccaneers HB LeGarrette Blount, who broke 50 tackles last season. Blount wasn't pleased with only getting five carries in the Bucs' Week 1 loss, and the Vikings need to tackle far better on the edges for their Tampa-2 scheme to go.
  • Bucs LB Mason Foster vs. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson. Foster, the third-round pick from Washington, was limited to 29 plays last week because the Lions used a spread offense but still managed to record seven tackles. He should get plenty of work trying to stop Peterson, arguably the best running back the Bucs will face this season.
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