Balance Key to Winning Today

Everyone watching today's game with the Chargers expects to see a lot of LaDainian Tomlinson. But don't be surprised to see the Vikings run as much as more than San Diego.

Following last week's loss to the Packers, Matt Birk stood in front of his locker shaking his head. He was upset by a loss that could have salted away the NFC North title, but moreso, he was upset by the Vikings change in philosophy.

"We haven't been run blocking well for three weeks," Birk told VU. "That's what we should be doing and we haven't been. That has to change."

Look for that change to come today. As the Vikings meet up with a San Diego team that is allowing 350 yards a game, the Vikings aren't likely to attack the Chargers will an all-out passing attack. The gameplan as we're hearing it is to beat the Chargers into submission with some old fashioned smashmouth football.

The days of the Vikings explosiveness on offense that marked the 1998-2000 seasons is over. This Vikings team is built more to pound the ball at you and move the chains than move the scoreboard total with 80-yard drives that last a minute and a half.

The Vikings will likely try to run the ball early and often -- as many as 30-35 times -- vs. a suspect Chargers defense. That is the gameplan to winning today. Let's see it they can get it done.

* One key to success may be winning the opening coin toss. The Vikings have had the ball first in four games this year. They have scored three touchdowns and one field goal in those possessions.
* The Vikes have won five straight road games after losing 17 straight from 2000-2002.
* San Diego is allowing 27 points a game this year.
* Since this point last year, the Chargers are 3-14 -- 1-7 this year after losing seven of their final nine games a year ago.

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