The Minnesota Vikings were there, they could taste the success, the repeat, and the hate coming from Chicago, Green Bay and Detroit. The Vikings used to be the underdog but after their successful campaign in 2015 they were now the favorites heading into the 2016 season, then it happened.
Starting QB, Teddy Bridgewater went down with a season-ending injury and just like that, that air of invincibility went down the drain. But all is not lost with the Vikings, they’ve been here before. If the Vikings are to have a glimmer of hope it begins in the backfield with #28, Adrian Peterson.
With the expected growth of Bridgewater and the passing attack in 2016, it was supposed to take the pressure and carries away from Peterson. This would keep him fresh for a playoff run, but with no official word on a replacement it looks like Peterson will have to put his Superman cape back on and try to pull another 2,000-yard season out his hat.
At 30 years old how many more seasons can he go averaging 300+ carries? As good as he is, he cannot continue to carry an entire offense. The Vikings have begun to build the necessary talent around him with WR, Stefon Diggs, and Cordarrelle Patterson, but Bridgewater was the one that was to bring it all together. If the Vikings can’t find a suitable replacement then what they may ask of Peterson to do will not be doable.
In the four seasons that he’s had to carry the offense and made the playoffs he only cracked 100 yards once in the postseason. The Vikings need him well-rested if they are to make a run but with so few QB options left the Vikings may have their hands tied. This is nothing new to Peterson, its been like this his entire career, but he is no longer in his 20s, this is the time when most RBs start to decline and as good as he is, Peterson is still no Benjamin Button.
When the offense goes to line up, they will look across the field and see an 8-man front, all with one focus, to contain Peterson. He will get his yards, may still rush for 1600+ but they each yard has its price. 280-300 carries will put him in MVP talks but what good is another trophy if your team finishes the season 3-13?
The Vikings must get a reliable passer to help take the pressure off Peterson or by the time Bridgewater is healthy enough to play again we may be saying it’s time for the Vikes to find a suitable runner to help take the pressure off the passing game.