1. Stopping AP- Last week Vikings running back Adrian Peterson became the twenty-eighth running back in NFL history to run for over 10000 yards in their career. Even with all that mileage on Peterson, he is still playing at high level. He is coming off a 200 yard performance against the Bears, and is showing no signs of slowing down during the last quarter of the season. The Ravens will definitely focus on shutting down AP this week and making the Vikings offense one dimensional. It won’t be easy, but it has been done this season.
2. Who’s under center for Minnesota?- The Vikings have had underwhelming quarterback play all season, having three different quarterbacks start. Former first round pick Christian Ponder has started most of the games for the team this season, but he is dealing with a concussion that he got last week against the Bears. Backup Matt Cassel played well in relief, leading the team to an overtime victory, but the Vikings have yet to name their starter for Sunday’s game. There is also a chance that third-string quarterback Josh Freeman starts, but it is unlikely given that he has been a healthy scratch the past couple weeks. This is something to monitor throughout the week in the lead up to Sunday’s matchup with the Vikings.
3. Potential new territory- If the Ravens are able to win at home against the Vikings it would mark the first time since week five that the team has had a winning record. It would also extend the team’s two game winning streak and keep them in the lead for the last wild card spot. The Bengals are playing the Colts (8-4) this weekend and could lose this weekend, allowing the Ravens to potentially move into one game of the division. Most importantly, this team needs to continue winning, and getting above .500 for the first time since October would be a nice feeling for a team that has worked hard to get back into the playoff hunt.
4. Can Flacco keep it up?- Quarterback Joe Flacco is coming off his best two game stretch of the season, as he has taken better care of the ball and has been more accurate, especially with his deep ball. The passing game is starting to look like what most of us were hoping to see earlier in the season. The Vikings were burned last week by Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey, who almost had 250 receiving yards to go along with two touchdowns, so Flacco should have plenty of opportunities to test that defense. There is also the chance that Flacco’s favorite target, Dennis Pitta, could return in some capacity this Sunday. Regardless of Pitta’s status, Flacco has been playing well these past few weeks and will need to continue to play that way for the Ravens to win these next couple of games.