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Brooks: Vikings Still Can Win NFC North

With the preseason in the rearview mirror, a panel of analysts on took a shot at predicting which teams in the NFC are going to make the playoffs.

Bucky Brooks thinks the Vikings are going to claim their second straight NFC North crown — even without quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Brooks wrote:

Despite losing their franchise quarterback on the eve of the season, the Vikings roll through the NFC North to claim their second straight division title. Shaun Hill doesn't post big numbers as the starter, but he leans on Adrian Peterson and a young WR corps to guide Minnesota back to the winner's circle.

A half-dozen other analysts said the Vikings will rely on Peterson and a stout defense to get into the postseason as a Wild Card team. 

Some of their reasoning included:

Ike Taylor: Adrian Peterson and the defense will carry this team into the playoffs.

Maurice Jones-Drew: With last year's playoff loss in mind, the Vikings will make a good run. It doesn't matter that they won't win the division.

Willie McGinest: Teddy Bridgewater's injury hurts, but a defense with talent on every level carries this team into the postseason.

Wright happy to get back on field for Vikings

Jarius Wright is the most experienced wide receiver on the Vikings roster, but the fifth-season player might have had the most challenging preseason.

Wright dealt with injuries during training camp and has only recently returned to the field. But the former fourth-round pick was in on the action Thursday night against the Rams with three receptions.

Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press chatted with Wright after the game about his recent play.

*The veteran slot receiver started and was targeted a half-dozen times in the Vikings' preseason finale against the Los Angeles Rams, a game typically reserved for roster casualties and practice-squad desperadoes. *

*Wright strained a hamstring early in training camp, an injury that nagged him enough to sit out the first two preseason games. He returned to the lineup Sunday against San Diego and caught a pass for 26 yards. *

*In the 27-25 win over the Rams, Wright had three receptions for 35 yards working with reserve quarterbacks Joel Stave and Brad Sorenson. *

"Today was big for me," he said. "I needed to play and get it under my belt, get into more football shape than just going out there and practicing."

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