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Monday Morning Mailbag: Bigger Concern, Brees or Peterson?

Posted Sep 10, 2017

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Who should the Vikings worry about more on Monday night: Drew Brees or Adrian Peterson?
-- Darren M.
@Darren11McC

Brees. He’s one of the best passers in NFL history and he’s had months to prepare for this game. As Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said earlier this week, it’s difficult to fool him and he’s seen about everything a defense can throw at him. The offense runs through him, not through Peterson. With all of that being said, the Vikings need to be sound against the run. That’s the first step in being able to contain Brees. Obviously, Peterson is a big part of the run game, so it’s not to say that Peterson isn’t a thought or concern; he is. But the offense goes as Brees goes.

The Saints have an average offensive line. We have a tremendous defensive line that can come at them in waves. We will win the war of the trenches, resulting in a win. Your thoughts?
-- Gerald Goblirsch

I don’t agree that the Saints offensive line is average. It’s better than average, in my view. They will be without their starting left tackle – Terron Armstead – but they still have capable blockers on the left side and they have Max Unger, Larry Warford and Zach Strief in the starting lineup. This is a solid group and a good matchup for what is one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. But I still agree with the premise of this question – the Vikings should win this battle.

Do you think we’ll help Mike Remmers in pass protection with a tight end on that side?
-- Randy O.
Mason City, IA

Yes. I expect Cameron Jordan will line up primarily as the left defensive end, which matches him up with Remmers. Jordan is the best player on the Saints defense (he led them with 17 tackles for loss last season) and so I do think the Vikings will take extra effort to ensure Remmers is in a position to win, whether that means doubling him with a tight end or back, using either or both to chip him, going with unbalanced formations, etc. Jordan commands that type of attention in the blocking scheme.

Ever since we drafted Dalvin Cook and I started seeing what everyone else saw in him, I still always thought that Latavius Murray would start the first five-to-six, maybe eight, games and then Dalvin would show that he's the guy and then take it from there. But what do you think will happen? Assuming Murray and Cook both stay healthy, do you think Cook will start at some point or no?
-- Alex Garcia

I’m not getting wrapped up in who the “starter” is at running back. The starter is whoever is on the field for the first snap of the game. What’s more consequential to me is who gets the most snaps and the situations in which each back, including Jerick McKinnon, gets his snaps. In the end, it won’t surprise me if Cook gets the bulk of the workload Monday night and for the season. Regardless, the Vikings will use all three backs regularly.