I am not going to lie, and act like I predicted this all from the start; when quarterback Teddy Bridgewater went down. I also wouldn’t have predicted that the purple and gold would be 5-0 without former NFL MVP Adrian Peterson. I don’t think anyone had us bouncing back from losing multiple key offensive lineman. And yet Minnesota has defied all odds and has gone undefeated. Some say it is Sam Bradford, others say it is the defense, many praise their special teams, I believe it is Mike Zimmer, the mastermind behind it all, who should be credited for their success. He is the heart and soul of this squad, and forged a great team in every aspect. Zimmer specializes in defense, which has been a strong suit for Minnesota so far this season.
The biggest X factor so far for this defense in my opinion has been cornerback Xavier Rhodes. Despite only playing three games, Rhodes has made all the headlines locally and across the nation. In his three starts, he has shut down star wide receivers, including Odell Beckham Jr. and DeAndre Hopkins. Things get a lot easier on defense when top wide outs aren’t performing, but the success of Rhodes is no coincidence, it was only a matter of time before he exploded. The Minnesota Vikings secondary consists of veteran slot cornerback, Captain Munnerlyn. Likewise, Harrison Smith contributes big time at safety. It also helps when your defensive line is dominating like the Vikings is. Lead by sack specialist, Everson Griffen, quarterbacks better watch out against Minnesota. The packages of Zimmer moving Brian Robison inside and out have been working really well with both Robison and second year stud, Danielle Hunter. Both Hunter and Griffen have totaled four sacks each. The duo was probably drooling when Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles, their week seven opponent, was being bothered by the Washington Redskins defense. Another key factor to the Minnesota Vikings success has been their quick and versatile linebackers. Two former UCLA linebackers, Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks, have both caused chaos for opposing teams. Minnesota’s defense overall has little weaknesses. When Coach Zimmer lines them up in the gap on either side of the center, they cause a lot of problems for opposing offenses.
The Vikings offense has suffered many devastating losses with players being out. The front office made the decision to trade a first and fourth round draft choice to the Philadelphia Eagles after Bridgewater went out. In return we received quarterback Sam Bradford. At first many thought that this deal was a bit risky; putting our future into this player, but as the season has gone along, Bradford has stolen the heart of Minnesota. I even have heard some “Teddy who?” chants around town. Unlike many past seasons, this offense has become pass first in which Bradford has thrived in the playbook that offensive coordinator, Norv Turner, has created.
As I mentioned before, this upcoming Sunday is the showdown between Carson Wentz and Sam Bradford. Wentz, being a rookie, impressed many very early in the season, but has slowed down. Coach Zimmer definitely will throw a lot at the rookie. I can just imagine the many blitzes that will be overloading the young quarterback. Hopefully wide receiver Stefon Diggs comes back this week for the Vikings. The Minnesota Vikings offense has had a week to recuperate, and should be firing on all cylinders in Philadelphia. Coming off a bye week, I expect that Minnesota is hungry for another win!
-Kid Reporter Noah O.