Panther fans know their Panthers, but sometimes it’s knowing the skinny about our opponents. The C3 Scouting Report gives you the lowdown on this week’s opponent, the Minnesota Vikings.
Division: NFC North
Division Standing: 4th
Streak: 2 loss
Last Meeting: 35-10, Panthers home win (10/13/13)
Key Players: Teddy Bridgewater, Jerick McKinnon, Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson
Hot Players: Jerick McKinnon (averaging 4.8 ypc), Greg Jennings (40 rec., 501 yards)
Tendencies: Run first, vertical passing (Norv Turner)
Execution Last Week:
Everyone knew that the Vikings would miss AP, but this offense has been less potent than expected. Perhaps the biggest surprise has been Cordarrelle Patterson, who many believed would have a breakout year in Norv Turner’s system. He’s been a ghost this season, however, and it doesn’t appear to be because of injury either. This has put the burden on rookie Teddy Bridgewater, who has carried his water for the most part, but isn’t carrying anyone else’s pail either.
Passing: Average - T. Bridgewater Bridgewater - (21/37 210 yds, 2 TDs)
Rushing: Below Average- McKinnon (15 carries for 54 yds, o TD)
Key Players: Robert Blanton (SS), Anthony Barr (LB), Everson Griffen (DE), Captain Munnerlyn (CB)
Hot Players: Robert Blanton 8 tackles, Everson Griffen 9 sacks for season
Execution Last Week: Above-average. The defense held Aaron Rodgers to 210 yards and 2 TDs, which is about as good as any defense could hope for against a deadly Green Bay air-attack. Minnesota did struggle to slow down Eddie Lacy, who averaged 5 yards per carry, and amassed 125 yards and a TD.
Head Coach: Mike Zimmer (4-7)
Offensive Coordinator: Norv Turner
Offensive Scheme: Air Coryell
Defensive Coordinator: George Edwards
Defensive Alignment: 4-3
Coaching Scout: Mike Zimmer isn’t well-known, nor highly touted, but there’s some pedigree there. He’s been around the block, however, and is well-respected by his peers. Former defensive for Bill Parcell’s in Dallas, Zimmer implemented a 3-4 defense with 4-3 personnel--and he isn’t a 3-4 guy. Described as a coach that “get guys to perform regardless of scheme, and he’s an adaptable coach with enough flexibility philosophically to tailor schemes to suit the specific talents of his players,” Zimmer brings a certain stability that has long been lacking in Minnesota. He’s a defensive guy with an offensive mind, who according to Scott Fujita has an “uncanny was his ability to correctly and specifically predict what each offensive play would be, one after another.”
The defensive specialist clearly has an eye for the other side of the ball when he recruited Norv Turner to lead the Minnesota offense. A disciple of the Air Coryell system, Turner uses “Spread formations, multiple receiver and tight end sets, and constant movement,” all “hallmarks of Zampese's schemes with the Chargers and, later, with the Rams, one of the league's highest-scoring teams of the late 1980s.”
Standing: Zimmer’s job is about as safe as any Minnesota Viking coach could be. He’s a first year coach that hasn’t had much to work with, so expect the Vikings to stick with Zimmer and try to bring a little stability to the organization with their rookie quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater.