The Cleveland Browns head to “The North Star” state to face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Both teams are 0-2 to start the season. Here is a look at what the Vikings have to offer.
The purple-and-gold cannot be talked about without mentioning beastly running back Adrian Peterson. A sure future Hall of Fame inductee, Peterson is a rare breed. AP is the type of back that every NFL team wishes they had. Now in his seventh pro season, Peterson has rushed for an unparalleled 9,000 yards plus. He is closing in on 80 career rushing touchdowns. If there is one small, but noticeable weakness in Peterson’s game, it’s the fact that he has fumbled 25 times in 91 regular season games. The Vikings’ star has battled adversity his entire career and the 2012 season was remarkable one for Peterson. Coming up just shy of the NFL’s single season rushing record, Peterson came back from a terrible ACL injury to win MVP of the 2012 season.
Quarterback Christian Ponder is a question mark going forward for the Vikings. You could say that Ponder’s situation is like Brandon Weeden’s – a one year trial. On the year, Ponder has already thrown four interceptions and has a QB rating of 60.7. The 25-year old has some mobility and was given more weapons in the off-season to succeed. The jury is still out on Ponder.
The four other weapons on offense for Minnesota are Greg Jennings, Kyle Rudolph, Cordarelle Patterson, and Jerome Simpson. Each of these guys are more than capable of putting a dent in the Browns secondary this weekend. The highly touted rookie Patterson is appearing deadly in the kick return game too. Last week against the Chicago Bears, Patterson returned a kickoff 105 yards to tie a Vikings record.
The Minnesota defense is led by rodeo sack specialist Jared Allen. Despite being 31 years old, Allen can hang with some of the best defensive ends in the league. Allen picked up his first sack of the year against the Bears and also forced a fumble. Defensive tackle Kevin Williams can still be a force. At linebacker, Erin Henderson and Chad Greenway are serviceable. The guy to watch in the secondary is second year man Harrison Smith. From Notre Dame, Smith is the quarterback of the Vikings secondary and has one interception on the year.
In his second year, Blair Walsh is the Vikings kicker. Walsh is 4 for 4 on the year and missed just three kicks in 2012. Jeff Locke is an average punter that has put three punts inside the twenty this season.
Ryan Ruiz is the Cleveland Browns Beat Writer for The Inscriber: Digital Magazine. You can follow him on Facebook: Ryan (BrownsWriter) Ruiz and Twitter @ryanpruiz24. Ryan is also a Browns correspondent for The Sportsfix. Tune in every Friday at noon on www.thesportsfix.net.