Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson hasn’t missed a Pro Bowl nod yet.
Peterson has been invited to the all-star game every season since being drafted fifth overall by Arizona in 2011, and the Vikings know that he is dangerous in the secondary.
Matthew Coller of 1500ESPN.com wrote this Thursday that Peterson offers the “toughest challenge” for Minnesota’s wide receivers. He wrote:
The Minnesota Vikings have gone up against some solid cornerbacks over the first five weeks a la Richard Sherman and Marcus Peters, but they have not faced a challenge for Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs quite like Patrick Peterson.
The seven-time Pro Bowler has allowed just 11 receptions in 21 targets against and a 43.6 rating when opponents throw in his direction.
Coller asked Thielen and Diggs during their sessions with Twin Cities media this week about Peterson.
Thielen called Peterson “a phenomenal football player,” and Diggs said that Peterson has “good hips” and is able to quickly get in and out of his breaks.
Coller pointed out that Peterson shadowed Diggs in the teams’ previous meeting in 2016, and Diggs finished the day with six catches for 37 yards.
This time around Peterson could shadow Thielen, who is the Vikings top statistical receiver — though both Thielen and Diggs have remarkable numbers when targeted.
“It will be a good challenge,” Thielen said. “You want to go against the best. In this league, there’s a lot of guys who can play, but he’s at the top of his game.”
Hill preparing to play where needed
If Riley Reiff’s foot injury keeps him out of Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, John Holler of Viking Update believes that Rashod Hill will take his place.
Hill typically lines up at right tackle but slid to the left when Reiff left last week’s game, and rookie Brian O’Neill came in on the right side. Holler took a look at what it would mean for Hill to start on the left. He wrote:
The job description of a tackle sounds the same – they are listed as playing the same position – but they’re not. Left tackles are asked to do a lot more in the way of pass protection and are typically lined up against an opponent’s top pass rusher, which this week will be perennial Pro Bowl candidate Chandler Jones of the Arizona Cardinals. A right tackle is often asked to set the edge in the run game and use bulk strength and power to protect the passer.
But, for someone asked to play both spots, moving from one spot to the other is just as much mental as it is physical.
“The hardest part about it is that you have to transition the plays in your head,” Hill told Holler. “Everything that you’re doing on the right side is the opposite when you move to the left side – from your assignment to your footwork to your hand placement, everything. If you’ve done it enough, it isn’t a problem. But, when you’re doing it on the move, it’s an adjustment.”
When the Vikings acquired Hill off the Jacksonville practice squad with three games to play in the 2016 season, a year in which the Vikings were decimated by an unprecedented amount of injuries along the O-line, Hill was plugged in at left tackle for most of the season finale against Chicago. In 2017, he made seven starts (six at right tackle and one at left tackle) and spent most of his time preparing to play both spots.
He won the right tackle job in training camp this season and, despite battling through injuries of his own, when it was clear that Reiff wasn’t going to be able to finish the game [against the Eagles], Hill was ready to step in and take over the spot with a confidence that may have been a bit less in 2017.
“I’ve done it before, so it wasn’t something new to me,” Hill told Holler. “In this league, you have to know how to play different positions. That’s just part of the game. The difference was that I was a lot more comfortable doing it last week. A year ago, my brain was working 100 miles an hour to remember everything I had to do on each play.
“This time, I was lot more comfortable and confident and those things you have to think about – getting my leg out, shooting my hands, those sorts of things – came a lot easier for me because I had lot more confidence and was more comfortable in what I was doing,” Hill added.
View practice images from Thursday, October 11 at the TCO Performance Center.
WWE highlights Diggs’ ECW-inspired cleats
It’s not uncommon for Diggs to don custom-designed cleats, and Sunday’s game at Philadelphia was no exception.
WWE.com featured Diggs’ latest pair of kicks:
What better way to celebrate a stay in Philadelphia than by paying tribute to the house that hardcore built? Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs made that notion clear on Sunday when he debuted a pair of Extreme Championship Wrestling-themed cleats, designed by Mache Custom Kicks, in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The fabled ECW, which propelled the likes of Tommy Dreamer and The Dudley Boyz to WWE Superstardom, called Philadelphia home before closing its doors in 2001.
Diggs had 10 catches for 91 yards and added 25 rushing yards on a pair of carries in Minnesota’s 23-21 victory.
In addition to Diggs’ numbers on the board, the 24-year-old also scored points with many ECW fans, as well as some extreme legends.