In this now weekly Man Up series I was thinking I would pick a single player in need of 'manning up' for the upcoming game. It wasn't really meant to be derogatory but more to identify the player key to a victory. But given the title it's a hard sell.
This week though we have quite the match-up for the defense. Having already faced the best QB in football in Aaron Rodgers this week we have the best RB. When you combine that fact with the Panthers
31st 29th ranked run defense (we're up two spots!) it becomes clear that this week manning up needs to include the entire front 7 of the Panthers defense.
That's right, all seven: Greg Hardy, Sione Fua, Terrell McClain, Chalres Johnson, James Anderson, Dan Conner & Omar Gaither need to keep Adrian Peterson from getting to the edge. They need to plug those holes and not miss any tackles. How exactly the Panthers do that is not simple. My first thought is to walk Charles Godfrey down into the box on 1st and 2nd down.
This also makes me think that thought I'm pretty sure the Panthers won;t pursue former Panther Chris Harris this is a good he would have some value. Though Harris may have been having trouble in coverage he's a good tackler who knows AP and the Minny offense very well. I'm just praying we're not needing FS Sherrod Martin to make many tackles.
I'm sure Sean McDermott is rightfully worried about facing AP this weekend and will sell out on certain plays to get into 3rd and long situations. We in turn need the front 7 (or 8) Man Up and shut AP down early. If the Panthers can get a two score lead it should force the Vikings to abandon the run and rely on Ponder's passing. I like our chances if that should come to pass.