1:00 PM EST on Sunday, Sept 19th. The game will be
broadcast regionally on CBS TV, on DirecTV channel 707 and on Sirius
radio 147 and 126.
PLACE: Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome,
WEATHER FORECAST: Partly sunny, with a high near 66. But since the
game is in a dome, it doesn't matter.
FIELD CONDITIONS: Mall of America Field has a surface made of Field
Turf, which is the modern equivalent of AstroTurf. Field Turf is
a decent playing surface and it's in a dome, so the field should be in
STANDINGS & STATS: After opening weekend, the Dolphins are 1-0 and
tied with the Patriots for first place in the AFC East. The Vikings
are 0-1 after their loss to the Saints and are tied with the Lions on
the bottom of the NFC North.
Dolphins Pts/Game Rank Vikings Pts/Game Rank
Scored 15.0 17 Scored 9.0 30
Allowed 10.0 6 Allowed 14.0 12
Dolphins Yds/Game Rank Vikings Yds/Game Rank
Total Offense: 296 19 Total Defense: 308 17
Rushing: 132 9 vs Rush: 79 8
Passing: 164 22 vs Pass: 229 19
Total Offense: 253 25 Total Defense: 166 1
Rushing: 91 19 vs Rush: 50 5
Passing: 162 23 vs Pass: 116 4
Sacks Made (Avg/G) Allowed (Avg/G)
Dolphins 3 3.0 3 3.0
Vikings 1 1.0 1 1.0
Individual Skill Position Stats:
QB: QB Henne: 21-34-182-0-0-75.9
Rush: RB Williams: 18-62-3.4-0
Rush: RB Brown: 13-65-5.0-1
Rec: WR Marshall: 8-53-6.6-0
Rec: WR Bess: 6-51-8.5-0
Rec: TE Fasano: 3-46-15.3-0
QB: QB Favre 15-27-171-1-1-71.7
Rush: RB Peterson: 19-87-4.6-0
Rush: RB Young: 2-3-0.7-0
Rec: TE Shiancoe: 4-76-19.0-1
Rec: RB Peterson: 3-14-4.7-0
Rec: RB Young: 2-11-5.5-0
The Dolphins hold a 5-4 record over the Minnesota Vikings.
The last time they played the Vikings in the regular season was in
2006 (Nick Saban's second season), when Miami beat the Vikings 24-20
in Miami. The last time they played in Minnesota was in 2002, when
Miami lost 20-17. The Dolphins have never beaten the Vikings in the
DOLPHINS: LB Channing Crowder (groin) and DE Jared Odrick (fibula) are
out for this game. LB Ikaika Alama-Francis (virus) is questionable,
but has not practiced all week.
VIKINGS: WR Percy Harvin (hip), CB Chris Cook (knee), CB Cedric
Griffin (knee) and DT Jimmy Kennedy (knee) are questionable.
QB Brett Favre (ankle), OT Bryant McKinnie (finger), RB Toby Gerhart
(knee) and C John Sullivan (calf) are probable.
QB - 7 Chad Henne LE - 70 Kendall Langford
RB - 23 Ronnie Brown NT - 94 Randy Starks
FB - 36 Lousaka Polite RE - 78 Tony McDaniel
WR - 19 Brandon Marshall SLB - 59 Ikaika Alama-Francis
WR - 82 Brian Hartline ILB - 50 Bobby Carpenter
TE - 80 Anthony Fasano ILB - 58 Karlos Dansby
LT - 77 Jake Long WLB - 91 Cameron Wake
LG - 68 Richie Incognito LCB - 21 Vontae Davis
C - 67 Joe Berger RCB - 32 Jason Allen
RG - 74 John Jerry SS - 37 Yeremiah Bell
RT - 72 Vernon Carey FS - 30 Chris Clemons
K - 5 Dan Carpenter P - 2 Brandon Fields
PR - 22 Clifton Smith KR - 22 Clifton Smith
As of Wednesday, it looks like Tony McDaniel will be taking the
place of Jared Odrick at right defensive end and Bobby Carpenter will
continue to start at the inside linebacker spot in place of Channing
Crowder this week.
QB - 4 Brett Favre LDE - 91 Ray Edwards
RB - 28 Adrian Peterson DT - 94 Pat Williams
FB - 38 Naufahu Tahi DT - 93 Kevin Williams
WR - 12 Percy Harvin RDE - 69 Jared Allen
WR - 87 Bernard Berrian SLB - 52 Chad Greenway
TE - 81 Visanthe Shiancoe MLB - 56 E.J. Henderson
LT - 74 Bryant McKinnie WLB - 51 Ben Leber
LG - 76 Steve Hutchinson RCB - 21 Asher Allen
C - 65 John Sullivan LCB - 26 Antonie Winfield
RG - 64 Anthony Herrera SS - 39 Husain Abdullah
RT - 71 Phil Loadholt FS - 20 Madieu Williams
K - 8 Ryan Longwell P - 5 Chris Kluwe
KR - 12 Percy Harvin PR - 21 Asher Allen
Percy Harvin has not practiced this week,
but will almost certainly get some playing time.
- Mike Nolan vs Brett Favre: Favre is one of the harder
quarterbacks to defend because he's better at improvising than when
staying in the pocket. That means that Nolan has to design his pass
rushing schemes to keep Favre contained, while keeping all the
- Chad Henne vs Himself: Henne didn't make any big mistakes
vs the Bills, but did look tentative and sometimes hesitant. He will
need to be better at putting the ball down the field while still not
making any big mistakes. He's got a strong arm and the Dolphins need
him to use it.
- Dolphins Interior Offensive line vs Vikings' Defensive
Line: The Dolphins' running game was decent, but not dominating
against the Bills last week. The Vikings have a much better defense
and the Dolphins will need their running game to be effective.
- Karlos Dansby vs Adrian Peterson: Peterson is one of the
best running backs in the league and the Dolphins need to contain him
to keep the Vikings in check.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
There is no controversy - Chad Henne is the Dolphins' starting
quarterback. But to lead the Dolphins to a championship, he needs to
play with more confidence than he showed against the Bills. Between
Brandon Marshall, Devone Bess and Anthony Fasano, he definitely has
the the receivers that will allow him to flourish.
Perhaps the group of players most on the spot this week for
Miami will be the offensive line. They'll need to play better than
they did last week to allow Miami's offense to move the ball against a
much tougher Vikings' defense.
On defense, Karlos Dansby had a great debut last week. He'll
need to continue to play well for Miami's defense to stop Adrian
Peterson. It looks like Tony McDaniel will be starting in place of
Jared Odrick, while Jason Allen has finally made a legitimate case to
be a starting defensive back.
On special teams, Clifton Smith did not have an auspicious
debut, but he had been with the team less than a week.
For the Vikings, Brett Favre had a very shaky start to the
season, but remains a dangerous competitor, while Adrian Peterson is
one of the best running backs in the league. However, the Vikings are
thin at receiver, with their tight end Visanthe Shiancoe being the
leader in receptions from their opening weekend.
The Vikings' defense has some good defensive backs, along with
a strong defensive line and linebacking corps. Linebackers Chad
Greenway and EJ Henderson combined for 21 tackles last week against
the Saints while defensive end Jared Allen has had more than 14 sacks
each of the last 3 years.
Last week, the Dolphins did what they should have done and
beat the Bills in the season opener. It was not as dominating a win
as it should have been, but it was a win and the Dolphins showed some
important improvements in critical areas from last season.
However, the inconsistent performance from last week will not
beat a much better Vikings team. The Vikings also looked inconsistent
and tentative last week, although they were playing on the road in New
Orleans and Brett Favre had only been in training camp for about 3
weeks when they opened the season. Now, Brett Favre has had a long
week to rest up and get ready for their home opener. He should be in
much better shape and ready to play.
The key to beating a Brett Favre-lead offense is to contain
Favre and keep him in the pocket as much as possible. Flushing him
from the pocket is actually counter-productive, because he plays
better when he's improvising than he does when forced to stand in
against the rush. The means the Dolphins must execute a disciplined
pass rush to contain Favre. It will be very interesting to see what
kind of pass-rushing scheme Mike Nolan comes up with.
Of course, the Dolphins also have to keep Adrian Peterson in
check. If the Vikings establish a strong running game, that takes a
lot of pressure off their passing game, regardless of who their
quarterback is. The key this week may be the play of Tony McDaniel,
now that Jared Odrick is out. McDaniel will need to play his best
football to maintain the line against the Vikings.
The Dolphins' secondary should be able to cover the Vikings'
receivers in this game as Favre's favorite target from last year,
Sidney Rice, is on the PUP list.
There is one area on defense where the Dolphins can't afford a
repeat of last week's mistakes - interceptions. Last week, Dolphins'
defenders dropped two interceptions that could have been returned for
scores. The Vikings will not give the Dolphins extra chances if
Miami doesn't come up with with those turnovers this week.
When Miami has the ball this week, they will try to establish
the same kind of balance on offense that they managed last week, but
they'll need to be more successful moving the ball down the field and
will need to make some bigger plays against the Vikings. This will
actually be tougher for the Dolphins because the Vikings' defense is
much better than the Bills'.
The Dolphins should be able to move the ball against the
Vikings as long as the offensive line holds up and the Dolphins'
receivers don't keep dropping the ball. Henne will also need to take
some more chances down the field, but at least he won't have to deal
with the changing wind conditions the way he had to deal with them in
Miami's running game will need better blocking against the
Vikings than they provided against the Bills if Miami is to move the
ball on the ground. With the inexperience of Miami's interior
offensive line, this is going to very difficult for the Dolphins to
On special teams, Miami's Clifton Smith still needs more work
with the team before he's fully integrated. Last year, the Vikings'
Percy Harvin was a very effective kickoff returner, but is still
recovering from his injury and is not back to 100%.
Ultimately, I believe that the game will come down to how well
the Dolphins' defense can contain Favre and create turnovers. I think
the Dolphins' improved defense will be able to keep Peterson in check.
Containing Favre is a more difficult task, but if they can contain
Favre and get pressure on him, he will make the mistakes that will
give Miami the opportunity to create turnovers.
On offense, I'm concerned that Miami will have trouble
establishing the run against Minnesota's defense and will have to
resort to more passing than they'd like. As long as Henne doesn't
make any mistakes and can deliver the ball down the field, the
Dolphins should still be able to move the ball and score.
PLACES TO WATCH:
To watch the game on TV, you may go to one of the sports bars listed on my "Places To Watch" web page.
To listen to the game live over the Internet, you must now pay
the NFL for the privelege. They are charging $9.99 (US) per month or
$39.99 for the season for something you used to get for free. If you want to sign up for that, go to the following link NFL Field Pass.
Also, here is a list of some websites that have live scores
and updates. Both the Official Website and NFL.com have almost live
applications that run in your browser and give you current stats and