The week of practice is over and the Vikings are nearly set for their Wild Card playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Here's what we learned this week about the Vikings-Seahawks matchup.
Adrian Peterson has a scouting report on Marshawn Lynch
They say it takes one to know one. Adrian Peterson served that adage well on Thursday during his weekly meeting with reporters. Peterson just won his third NFL rushing title and is widely considered the best RB in the NFL. Seattle's Marshawn Lynch has missed several games this season, but he's expected to be in the lineup on Sunday and when he's healthy he's one of the League's best backs, too.
"I remember coming out (in the draft) with him. We trained together in Arizona. I knew he was going to be a force to be reckoned with. He's 'Beast Mode' for a reason. He's a physical runner. He plays fast. His lateral movement, his cuts, his vision is top of the line. I would say he's probably the second best back in the League. I'd give it to him hands down."
The competitive and joking nature of Peterson would never allow him to put another runner ahead of him on the list. But even through the smiles and chuckles, you could sense the respect Peterson has for Lynch.
"I think what I got on him is a little more speed," Peterson said. "His lateral movement and his ability to get away and power through guys is amazing."
Parcells and Zimmer conferred on prepping a team to play in the cold
Former NFL head coach Bill Parcells is a mentor to Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer. Earlier in the week, Parcells joined Dan Barreiro on KFAN 100.3-FM to talk about his relationship with Zimmer and some of the things the two friends speak about regularly.
Our own Eric Smith detailed the conversation between Parcells and Barreiro.
"I'm not looking with a critical eye," Parcells said. "We've had discussions about lots of things…usually things that aren't obvious to the layman.
"This week would be how to prepare your team to play in the elements."
Parcells coached teams in New York twice plus he was also head coach of the New England Patriots, so he's had his fair share of cold-weather games.
"It reduces the high-end fire power," Parcells said of the cold. "It injects too many variables into the high-powered offenses. The wind, the ball being cold, the players not being able to keep their bodies fully warm all the time, which cuts the speed down. Sometimes the footing may not be perfect because of the frost or wetness that exists on the field – ice or whatever it is. The elements are a great equalizer. The wind is a tremendous factor in games. "
Bevell impressed with Vikings defense's pressure schemes
View photos of players and coaches who have suited up for both the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks.
**In a film study earlier this week, we used a handful of plays to illustrate the depth and creativity of Seattle Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell's offense. Turning the tables around, Bevell said he was impressed with some of the schemes the Vikings defense runs under head coach Mike Zimmer.
"I think the thing that makes it challenging is his pressure package," Bevell said of Zimmer. "He does a great job with it. He walks guys up in the A gap, brings guys off of each side and just presents you with issues. They can play all different types of coverages out of it."
Coaches insist the game is won by players on the field, and that will be true on Sunday. But the Xs and Os chess match between Zimmer and Bevell will be a fun part of the game, too.
Vikings are underdogs at home this weekend
The Vikings are coming off a huge division title win last week and are the higher seed playing at home, but the outside world is expecting the Seattle Seahawks to come to Minnesota and win on Wild Card Weekend.
As detailed by our weekly "Experts' Picks" article, only a brave few are prognosticating a Vikings win. At Bleacher Report, 8 of 8 experts picked the Seahawks. It was 7 of 8 on the Seattle's side at CBS Sports and another 7 of 8 at FOX Sports.
To get the full run down, check out this week's article.
The Vikings 2015 draft class was really good
**Vikings fans have been pleased with what they've seen from their 2015 draft class. But they aren't the only ones. As vikings.com's Craig Peters wrote, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network was impressed, too.
"Eric Kendricks and Danielle Hunter were major contributors on defense, and Stefon Diggs looks like a future No. 1 receiver," Jeremiah wrote.
Kendricks led the Vikings defense in tackles (105) and 1st-rounder Trae Waynes led the team in special teams tackles (14). Diggs, whose 52 catches were third-most by a Vikings rookie, was the first Vikings rookie to lead the team in catches.
Our own Lindsey Young wrote more about the contribution the Vikings 2015 draft class had in helping the team reach the playoffs.