The Vikings come in tied for the most wins in the NFC North, but they trail the Bears by one in the loss column.
The Bucs have a different and are less advantageous current situation, as they are 2-4 and are the second-worst team in the NFC by way of record and tiebreakers.
Adrian Peterson has returned from injury better than anyone could have expected, and he has the Vikings unexpectedly sitting near the top of the NFC standings.
Minnesota comes in with a 4-0 record at home, while Tampa is 0-2 on the road. The Vikings already have their fifth home game of the year in Week 8, so they will face a tough road schedule following this game.
The Vikings have won four of their last five, which includes last week’s 21-14 win over the Cardinals. Adrian Peterson has bounced back from his injury to have the third most rushing yards in the league with 652, which is only seven yards behind Arian Foster.
Christian Ponder has had a very successful sophomore season to date, and he has been helped by Percy Harvin, who has accounted for over one-third of Ponder’s completions this season. His play, along with Peterson’s, is what will determine how the Vikings do the rest of the season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay lost to the Saints last week, which put both teams at 2-4 and four games back of the division-leading Falcons. This was their fourth loss in their last five games, and it came after an impressive win over Kansas City.
The Bucs just cannot seem to have both sides of the ball play well in a game, as their offense struggles when the defense performs well, and the offense does well when the defense struggles. Their rush defense is third in the league, but their pass defense comes in at 31st. They allow 323 passing yards per game, which will not win any games in the NFL.
Their only wins on the season are against the 1-5 Panthers and the 1-5 Chiefs, so a win this week seems highly unlikely for Tampa Bay. Greg Schiano has had little success with his new team, which may be indicative of his coaching, or perhaps the talent-level of his team, or both.
The Vikings are playing far too well to lose to the struggling Bucs, which is why they will win and win big.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings
Bucs-Vikings Date: Thursday, October 24
Bucs-Vikings Kickoff Time: 8:20 PM
Bucs-Vikings TV Network: NFL Network
Bucs-VIkings Point Spread: Vikings -7
Bucs-Vikings Over-Under Odds: 42.5
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