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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Home at last, Mike Zimmer and Case Keenum are asking for help from Vikings fans this Sunday

By Derek Wetmore

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings have been on the road for almost a month. Head coach Mike Zimmer said it felt more like two.

The last time the Vikings took the field at U.S. Bank Stadium was Nov. 19, and after a 2-1 road trip, they’ll finally get a chance to play in front of their fans this Sunday. Zimmer and starting QB Case Keenum said that they’re counting on some assistance from the lungs of the screaming purple faithful.

“I think the big difference is the crowd,” Keenum said during his weekly address with the media. “Being at home, our defense plays so well — all the time, but the crowd makes a difference. And I think our crowd makes a big difference.

“We need them to come out and be loud and crazy, and then shut up when we’re on offense, and then go crazy when we score. We’re excited to be back home and I think it’s going to be a great day,” he said,

I haven’t covered the Vikings as much this year as in the past. But Keenum’s plea sounded a whole lot different to me than when former offensive lineman Alex Boone asked the crowd for a similar courtesy. Keenum said it with a wink and a smile. Boone said it with an expletive, as a command.

Time will tell if the Vikings’ fans, likely eager to get back to the stadium after three weeks of watching games on the couch, get loud this weekend. The Vikings will likely be favored in the game, and especially if they get two or three of their ailing offensive linemen back from injury.

Mike Zimmer sounds optimistic about getting a couple offensive linemen back this week

The Vikings are 5-1 at home and 4-3 on the road. Although Zimmer came up with an obscure and surprising stat in defense of his club dropping one on its recent 3-game road trip. No team, he said, has won 3 consecutive road games against teams with a .500 or better record since 1967.

1967!

True, there probably haven’t been that many teams in that fifty years to face that situation. But the Vikings are just the latest to fail to turn the trick.

Zimmer was asked Wednesday if he thinks the home-road dynamic really can make a difference in the outcome of games.

“Yes, our fans are unbelievable. They’re loud. They’ve helped us in a lot of home games. I think this will be the loudest game of the year,” he said. “[Bengals QB Andy] Dalton does a lot of things at the line of scrimmage trying to change things. It helps with our pass rush, it helps on third down with us getting off the ball and them maybe being a little slow. Fans can really help us in this game.”

The post Home at last, Mike Zimmer and Case Keenum are asking for help from Vikings fans this Sunday appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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