On Sunday, the Vikings defeated the visiting Kansas City Chiefs, 16-10. With Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson (or more likely the offensive line) struggling, it was rookie Stefon Diggs and the Minnesota defense that carried the team.
In the first half, Minnesota was dominating. The Vikings scored 10 points and accumulated 193 total yards, while holding Kansas City to zero points and only 51 yards. Unfortunately, the second half was a different story. Led by their tight end Travis Kelce, the Chiefs were able to gain some traction, eventually getting into the end zone thanks to a 42-yard screen pass to Albert Wilson, which brought the Chiefs to within three points. In a game that should not have been as close as it was, the Vikings showed poise and mettle by holding off the Chiefs and doing just enough to secure the win.
Teddy Bridgewater had an uneven game, throwing for 249 yards, a touchdown, and a pair of interceptions. Adrian Peterson was bottled up for most of the game, rushing for only 60 yards on 26 carries. If you take away a 23 yard scamper in the third quarter, Peterson only averaged 1.48 yards per carry. The offensive line held up in pass protection, only giving up two sacks and two quarterback hits. However, they were unable to open any running lanes for Peterson, which contributed to his bad day.
Another week, another game where the Viking’s defense is asked to bail out the offense. In his first game after being named the full time starter at middle linebacker, rookie Eric Kendricks led the team in tackles with 10, as well as a sack, tackle for a loss, pass defense, and a quarterback hit. Everson Griffen was sick and unable to play, and the only explanation I can think of is his chops must have been infected, because he had been licking them all week in anticipation of going against the Chiefs offensive line. Rookie Danielle Hunter started in his place, and finished with four tackles, a quarterback hit and half a sack (shared with Sharrif Floyd).
The player of the game this week was rookie Stefon Diggs, who had seven catches for 129 yards. With Charles Johnson injured, Diggs has had an opportunity to play and he has taken full advantage of it. Through two weeks, Diggs has 13 catches for 216 yards which is second on the team, behind Mike Wallace who has 256 yards (in five games).
I was tempted to put Adrian Peterson as the player who could use the most improvement, but I’m going to do something I thought I never would and list Teddy Bridgewater. If you just looked at the stats, you’d see this was the second highest passing yardage game of the season for Teddy. However, Teddy also had two picks and left a lot of yards on the field with some erratic passes. Teddy only completed 55 percent of his passes and had a quarterback rating of 65.1. Luckily for him, the Vikings were playing a Chiefs team that was without their best player, and the Viking’s defense was able to keep Kansas City in check for most of the game. Going forward, there will be games that Teddy is asked to win, and he must play better in those games than he did today. But I have faith that he will.
Looking forward, the Vikings play the Lions this Sunday, October 25. The Lions have already come to Minnesota and were sent home with their tails between their legs, but this is a whole new game and it will be in Detroit, so the Vikings cannot overlook this team. Detroit finally got their first win of the season this past Sunday, in a 37-34 overtime victory against the Chicago Bears. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson combine to give the Lions a fearsome passing attack, but they are dead last in the NFL in rushing and have a porous defense. This is another game that the Vikings should have no problems winning, but this is the NFL and any given team can win on any given Sunday.