Vikings-Broncos matchup of the day: Friday

Posted Dec. 02, 2011 @ 1:30 p.m.
Posted By Christian West

Here's a key matchup to watch in Sunday's Vikings-Broncos game.

Vikings defense vs. Broncos rushing offense

It's quirky, gimmicky, bewildering and contrary to the passing game revolution the rest of the league is currently engulfed in, but the Broncos' offense has been effective with Tim Tebow at the helm.

The run-heavy offense, which incorporates a lot of college-style plays — read-option and QB power draws, for example — exploits Tebow's strength as a runner while hiding his deficiencies as a passer.

Lost in the "Tebow-mania" is how well RB Willis McGahee and the offensive line have played. The offensive line is doing an excellent of winning at the line of scrimmage and McGahee is running like he's 25 years old, not 30.

The Broncos' offense hasn't set the world on fire, scoring less than 20 points in five of Tebow's six starts, but they have managed to score when it matters most.

The Vikings' defense needs to tackle better than it did last week against the Falcons to contain the Broncos' running game, especially in the back seven. Another key will be getting a strong performance from DT Kevin Williams, who has looked like his old self the past two games, using his quickness to penetrate into the backfield and disrupt running plays.

Forcing Tebow to throw in 3rd-and-long situations is the best way to limit the Broncos' offense and create additional opportunities for Christian Ponder and the Vikes' offense.