The Minnesota Vikings will kick off their 2012-2013 NFL season tomorrow at 12:00 CT as they play host to the Jacksonville Jaguars at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Dome. The Vikings own a 3-1 series record over the Jags and will look to improve upon that tomorrow.
It is finally here, the moment Vikings' fans have waited for since their season ended on New Years Day against the Chicago Bears: opening Sunday. Minnesota fans can stop pretending to care about the last place Minnesota Twins and start focusing on hopefully a much improved Vikings' team.
There are a lot of things to watch for in this game. Not to beat a dead horse, but it will be interesting to see if Adrian Peterson will be healthy enough to play tomorrow. If he does, he has the opportunity to break former Vikings' great, running back Robert Smith, career rushing record. Peterson is only 67 yards away from doing so and if he gets ample playing time, there is a very good chance that he will break Smith's record. In his only game against the Jags, Peterson ran 17 times for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Another big storyline is Christian Ponder as he makes his first start on NFL Kickoff Weekend. Believe it or not, Ponder actually set Vikings' rookie records for completions, attempts and completion percentage in 2011. Ponder will look to get off on the right foot by having a stellar start tomorrow against a tough Jags' defense.
The Vikings' defensive line should be licking their chops as they look at the Jags tomorrow. The Vikings, a team that was tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for most sacks last year with 50, will be going against a team that was tied for seventh for most sacks allowed with 44. Jared Allen will be getting back to work very quickly as he will try to take advantage of a weak offensive line and get to young quarterback Blaine Gabbert early and often.
On the contrary, the Vikings were sacked the fifth most last year allowing 49 sacks. It will be up to rookie Matt Kalil and the other veterans on the line to keep Ponder off the ground as much as possible. The Jags weren't known for their sacks last year, but were a very strong team ranking in the top ten against the pass and the run. With Peterson a definite maybe for tomorrow, who knows how the Vikings offense will respond.
With all of this being said, there is a very good chance that the Vikings could pull this game off. They are at home and playing against a team that only won one game on the road last year. However, Ponder is going to need to step it up if Peterson is out, and if he can't, the Vikings could be looking at their third straight season losing their opening game.
Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.