Minnesota's first two opponents after its bye have focused extensively on stopping Adrian Peterson, but the Vikings are 2-0. John Holler of Viking Update writes that the wins by the Vikings in spite of Kansas City's and Detroit's successes at limiting Peterson on most plays could define what this season will be.
Holler removed a 23-yard gain against the Chiefs, which left 25 carries for 37 yards (1.5 yards per carry), and a 75-yard run at Detroit, which left 18 carries for 23 yards (1.3 per carry) and wrote:
*The reality is that those two runs are signature moments of Peterson's career. It's what he does.
*But it has been the other 43 carries for 60 yards that, under Vikings life since the autumn of 2010 would have resulted in a record of 0-2 at this point, not 2-0. It could be hard to argue that those numbers would have translated into a 2-0 record against their opponents from 2009. *
ESPN.com's Ben Goessling wrote that Minnesota incorporated a "balanced attack" that led the Vikings to more yards (425) than any game since Teddy Bridgewater's first start (558 on Sept. 28, 2014). Goessling noted an even bigger accomplishment for the Vikings was answering a challenge by Head Coach Mike Zimmer to protect the football:
*A game the Vikings could have won in Detroit last December turned into a 16-14 loss when Bridgewater threw a pair of costly interceptions. Zimmer spent part of his week reminding the Vikings why they'd lost that game — and challenged them to fix several areas, including ball security. *
*The Vikings' only turnover in 75 offensive plays was a botched exchange between Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson, and Bridgewater finished his year against the Lions with zero interceptions and two victories. *
Jim Souhan of the *Star Tribune *released "NFC power rankings" and slotted the Vikings as the fourth-best team in the conference. Souhan wrote:
Their opening-night loss to the 49ers remains a blight on their record, and their record isn't as good as the Falcons', but they've won four of their last five, are capable of winning close, and are just learning how to win on the road with a young team.