View some of the best images of the Vikings running backs from the offseason program.
Three weeks removed from NFL minicamps and with less than three remaining until the Vikings report to Minnesota State University, Mankato for 2015 training camp, cyberspace this week churned out some "mind-blowing stats" for the Vikings, including Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson, in a photo essay on NFL.com.
The essay pointed out that Bridgewater led all rookie QBs in wins (six), completion percentage (64.4), passing yards per game in starts (230.8) and passer rating (85.3). The "mind-blowing" component is the final component, which is the fifth-highest passer rating by a rookie with at least eight starts since 1990, behind Robert Griffin III (102.4), Russell Wilson (100.0), Ben Roethlisberger (98.1), and Matt Ryan (87.7).
Peterson's prolific rushing numbers nabbed two spots in the photo essay. The first took note of his 6.0 yards per carry during the 2012 season in which he nearly broke the single-season rushing record. Only five other players have lead the league in rushing while averaging 6.0 or more yards per carry. Click here to see the rest of those running backs and a note on where Peterson's seven straight seasons with at least 10 rushing touchdowns to open his career place him.
On Tuesday, Andy Benoit of Sports Illustrated and The Monday Morning QB used Twitter to rank his "top NFL RB's entering '15. Benoit slotted Peterson second, behind Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell. The Vikings and Steelers will open the preseason Aug. 9 in the Hall of Fame Game in a national broadcast of Sunday Night Football on NBC, but Peterson and Bell aren't expected to play much, if at all.
That, however, does not mean that a back in Benoit's top 25 won't take the field in Canton, Ohio. Benoit ranked Vikings second-year pro Jerick McKinnon at 23. McKinnon, a third-rounder in 2014, handled a considerable load and averaged 4.8 yards per carry in Peterson's absence and could form quite a 1-2 combination for the Vikings this season.
Benoit noted within his timeline of tweets that preseason rankings or "midsummer riffing stuff" won't have a bearing on what happens this fall.
One thing, however, is for sure: Vikings coaches liked what they saw from Peterson and McKinnon during the team's organized team activity practices and minicamp.
"It's great having (Peterson) back," Turner told Vikings.com's Mike Wobschall. "His presence, he really sets the tempo for this team. It's fun to watch him practice because he's all out, going 100 miles an hour. He's one of the most talented guys I've ever been around."
Running backs coach Kirby Wilson said "it's fun to come to work every day, but especially when employee number 28 is in the room."
"At running back, you don't have many people that size, stature and speed and explosiveness to do what (Peterson) does," Wilson said. "That's what makes him unique. He's a tremendous finisher with the ball in his hand."
Robert Klemko, a colleague of Benoit's at The MMQB, wrote about Peterson here for the site's list of the 100 "Most Influential People for the 2015 Season." The site slotted Peterson at 11, in part out of curiosity for what the back can accomplish in his NFL life after 30.
As for McKinnon, Wilson said he saw continued improvement in the versatile player who rushed 113 times for 538 yards and caught 27 passes for 135 yards in a rookie season shortened by a back injury. McKinnon showed he was fully recovered this spring.
"We're going to continue to work with him," Wilson said. "He has gotten better each and every day, and every day he does something that kind of excites you and makes you go wild. We hope that continues to happen on a daily basis. He's got an extremely bright future. We've just got to have some luck with health. If he has that luck with the health, he could turn into a really good player for us some day."