Rookie Gordon Drawing Comparisons to Peterson
The last time the Vikings hosted the Chargers in a regular season game in 2007, eyes around the NFL opened following the performance of rookie running back Adrian Peterson.
Peterson ran for 296 yards and it became clear that Minnesota would have a special player in the backfield for years to come.
Since Adrian Peterson's record-breaking day and his success through the years, experts have drawn similarities between Number 28 and other running backs who have come and gone through the NFL.
Yesterday it was Peterson himself who admired San Diego's rookie halfback Melvin Gordon writes Tim Yotter of Viking Update. Gordon, the former Wisconsin Badger, said he was a fan of Peterson as well.
The NFL has hyped several "next Adrian Peterson" comparisons through the years, with most of them falling woefully short.
While San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon isn't making that brash comparison, Peterson is happy to have the rookie as an admirer, even if classifying Gordon as a "Peterson groupie" might be overstating the case.
"I don't know about groupie, but I'm a big fan," Gordon said.
"(Peterson) wins the games. He takes over the games. What I really liked most was when he really didn't have much help and the team was depending on him and he came through. And even when everyone knew he was getting the ball he made it happen. You've got to really respect backs that do that."
After gaining 4,915 yards rushing at Wisconsin, including 2,587 last year and 1,609 as a junior, Gordon became the Chargers' first-round draft pick and hasn't disappointed to date. Through two games, he is averaging a solid 4.6 yards on 30 carries.
That includes a 27-yard run last week against the Cincinnati Bengals that Peterson called "amazing."
"I like his feet. He's got real nice feet," Peterson said. "He runs physical. He's quick in between the tackles. I think maybe that's why I like him so much. It reminds me of how I would run the ball the times I'm presented with. People are presented with so many different talents at the running back position. … He runs the ball downhill north and south. That's what I like most."
Chargers defense prepares for AP
When most NFL teams prepare for a matchup against the Vikings, one of the first things to address is how to defend against Minnesota's rushing attack led by Peterson.
Although the Chargers have not had much success defending against the run in the first two games this season, members of San Diego defense won't treat him differently than any other half back writes Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com.
He's just a man. He puts his pants on one leg at a time, just like everyone else.
He is not "Wolverine."
"He's Adrian Peterson last time I checked," Chargers defensive end Kendall Reyes said, smiling. "I mean he's a great player; don't get me wrong. But you have to approach him like you would anyone else. You have to tackle him. But of course, the more hats we can get around him, the better."
The Chargers head into Sunday's game allowing 122 rushing yards a game, No. 21 in the NFL. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Chargers have allowed the most yards before contact per rush to running backs this season at 3.87 yards before contact.
Overall, the Chargers are allowing 5.16 yards per carry by running backs this year through two games, per ESPN Stats & Information. Only the New England Patriots (5.3 yards per carry) are worse.
Vikings linebacker Audie Cole was named a captain for Sunday's game representing special teams writes Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.
Minnesota Vikings rookie Stefon Diggs is learning varied roles for the Vikings writes Eric Oslund of Viking Update.
Associated Press: Mike Harris has been versatile and a big help on the Vikings offensive line.