29_35x90 knx_35x90
CBSLA WEATHER APP: iPhone App Store | Android App Coming Soon | More Info | Watch Josh's Live Demo

Tale of the tape

Week 1: Minnesota Vikings Vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings Jacksonville Jaguars v Carolina Panthers

Vikings

Jaguars

The Vikings are operating under the theory that Christian Ponder will be much improved this season and all reports indicate that he has made strides. However, Ponder is going to have to demonstrate improved accuracy and decision making early in the season if the Vikings have a chance to exceed expectations. Quarterback There’s little doubt that Blaine Gabbert has all the physical characteristics that are needed to play the quarterback position, thanks to his size, strength and rocket-arm. However, his instincts are still developing and that means he will make a lot of mistakes.
There aren’t many teams any more that will feature a running back as the primary factor in the offense the way the Vikings do with Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, but few backs play at their level. The Vikings offensive line could be much improved with Matt Kalil knocking defensive linemen around like they were rag dolls. Offense Despite the ugliness of his preseason holdout, it seems likely that Maurice Jones-Drew will be back early in the year. If he is, there is a chance that the Jaguars could be much improved on offense because rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon looks like a real player and Laurent Robinson looks like a real player at the other receiver spot.
The Vikings lacked cohesiveness on defense last year but new coordinator Alan Williams will closely follow head coach Les Frazier’s philosophy that depends largely on discipline and positional play and not blitzing. Defensive end Jared Allen is still an explosive pass rusher but he could start to slow down this year. Defense While the Jaguars were a 5-11 team last season, there was significant improvement on the defensive end under defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. They went from 28th in the league to 6th, and they should continue to improve this year because rookie defensive end Andre Branch can turn the corner and explode to the quarterback.
Special teams were troublesome for the Vikings last year and punter Chris Kluwe needs to show some improvement. Rookie placekicker Blair Walsh replaces inconsistent Ryan Longwell. Special Teams It’s hard to find fault with placekicker Josh Scobee, who connected on 23-of-25 field goal attempts last year. The Jags drafted punter Bryan Anger in the third round and they need him to be a momentum turner.

The winner is

Jacksonville Jaguars v Carolina Panthers
Jaguars
3 out of 4

The Jaguars are probably the most low-profile team in the NFL, but they should be solid on defense and special teams. That should be enough against a Vikings team that is trying to rebuild and hoping that Adrian Peterson will be healthy and ready to roll at the start of the season.

More Tales of the tape

  1. 451058894 Belgium v Russia: Group H - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
    Round Of 16 In 2014 World Cup: USA vs. Belgium

    The United States have advanced to the Round of 16 in back-to-back World Cup’s for the first time in history. After getting second place in Group G, USA will face Group H winner Belgium. Belgium, who is full of immensely talented players that play in EPL, is ranked 12th in the World heading into the tournament. Unlike the last two games for the Yanks, striker Jozy Altidore will be listed questionable for Tuesday’s game in Salvador, Brazil. Two of the world’s best keepers will go toe to toe at the Arena Fonte Nova stadium.

  2. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Richard Heathcote) (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Warren Little)
    Tale Of The Tape: Winter Olympics In Sochi Vs. FIFA World Cup In Brazil

    With both sites having their share of issues in hosting major international sporting events, we went to the tape to decide who was the worst host of 2014.

  3. Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks LeBron James (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: LeBron James Decision 1 Vs. Decision 2

    Let’s compare LeBron James’ first decision to leave the Cavs to his decision to opt out with the Heat.

See all Tales of the Tape