The blades nearly spun off the rumor mill this offseason regarding where Adrian Peterson might wind up, but he's returned to the Vikings, the team that drafted him seventh overall in 2007 and is leading the NFL with 93 rushing yards per game.
ESPN.com's Ben Goessling pointed out that the past two players to win rushing titles DeMarco Murray (from Dallas to Philadelphia) and LeSean McCoy (from Philadelphia to Buffalo) are yet to hit their full strides in their new homes.
"It feels good to be back here in Minnesota, especially around my teammates — guys I've been playing with since I stepped into this building," Peterson said Thursday. "That's what I'm enjoying the most. It's unfortunate when you get guys like DeMarco Murray, who leaves Dallas, and they're in single-back, I-formation. And now you go to Philadelphia, and it's not that. So that right there, itself, can change things."
Murray is averaging just 2.7 yards per carry in the Eagles' high-tempo offense this season and is 50th in the league in rushing through five weeks. That's 10 spots behind McCoy, who left Philadelphia's scheme for Buffalo, has missed two games and has 146 yards on 43 carries — the same number of yards Aaron Rodgers has posted on 27 runs. Even though the Vikings have only played four games, Peterson has more yards than McCoy and Murray combined.
More experience than one start
John Holler of Viking Update wrote about 2015 second-round draft pick Eric Kendricks being primed to take over the starting middle linebacker position after the Vikings traded Gerald Hodges Jr. to San Francisco during Minnesota's bye week. Holler wrote that the "changeover began in Week 2, not Week 5."
*In the regular-season opener, Hodges played 83 percent of the snaps while Kendricks was in on just 14 percent. Over the last three games, Kendricks had a higher percentage of playing time in each game – 68 percent to 36 percent against Detroit, 53-50 vs. San Diego and 57-43 at Denver. *
*Technically, Kendricks wasn't the starter until Denver, but in reality he was since Week 2. He was on the field more, especially at crunch time of games. Now that he has officially been given the starter tag, he's not going to change what got him to this point. *
"I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing," Kendricks said. "Obviously, this game's important. I'm going to continue to do the same things I've been doing up to this point and play hard."
Bridgewater beginning next 16
NFL Media Columnist Jeffri Chadiha visited Winter Park this week for a feature on Bridgewater and wrote:
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is not big on bravado or bluster, so you can forgive him for downplaying the *significant juncture he has reached. He's a team player by both trade and temperament, a man happy to perform his role so long as it helps procure a victory. Bridgewater also is still a second-year pro trying to grow in a league that can be merciless on young signal callers. With that in mind, he may not yet be able to see that the next few weeks will go a long way toward defining his game. *
The Vikings are about to kick off a key three-game stretch that easily could launch them into the playoff conversation when the second half of the season approaches. They'll get the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday, then head on the road to face the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears. Those three teams have a combined record of 3-12 thus far. In other words, this is Bridgewater's chance to show he can make enough plays to take his team to a higher level.
Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press with an update on possible upcoming roster decisions.
Michael Rand of the Star Tribune with details about the Pro Football Hall of Fame tour that is visiting Minneapolis this weekend and Detroit (like the Vikings) next weekend.