Well another year is upon us, and for the Minnesota Vikings, the expectations are much higher.
Brett Favre is now at the helm which gives every receiver capable of catching a ball, a lot more value from a team standpoint.
Adrian Peterson is set to enter the race for MVP as well as try and top his performance from a year ago, and lead this team deep into the playoffs if not to a Super Bowl. In addition, the Defense is primed to be a big problem for EVERYONE which makes them a solid play every week.
As we take all of this into account, let’s take a highlighted look at Adrian Peterson’s opening day game, and what we can expect.
Peterson and the Vikings will open on the road against Cleveland, and it may be a surprising game in favor of the Browns considering they've shown that the defense has potential this preseason.
Nah, who are we kidding this is gonna be a slaughter.
Look, even if the Cleveland defense does somehow show up and contain the beast— a near impossibility from my standpoint— it won’t matter at all.
More than likely, Favre’s presence alone will force the Cleveland corners to play deep early on, until they can get a read on him, and the receivers. Additionally, considering the Browns D-line is not a very good matchup against the Minnesota front five, Peterson is primed to run buck-wild in the first half.
Cleveland's defense could have moderate success against Favre and the passing game, since Favre is still trying to acclimate himself to Minnesota's system, so we may not see too many downfield shots; which should open the door for Peterson.
The Vikings O-Line— on BOTH sides— has been looking very sharp as well, so the days of Peterson primarily running off of Hutch and Herrera at LT are over, and the “playing field” for Peterson becomes much more expansive.
Last year, the Vikings rushed off of the LT more than any other team except one, while ranking 19th when rushing off the RT, but that should be vastly different this year.
If you look at the following video, we did not see a lot of this last season. Peterson will basically 'misdirect' to the RT and stroll right through the line; the LBs fail to stay home, and the secondary is sucked right in, ( not to mention 32 should have played more lateral).
Now, if Minnesota can have that sort of success running off of both tackles, they will be incredibly dangerous.
Phil Loadholt has been doing spectacular in the preseason while Ryan Cook remains serviceable, so Peterson will benefit from having more alleys to run through, and against a Cleveland D-Line that is very suspect, it should be a monster day.
But Peterson isn’t going to be just a rushing threat.
I suspect that once the Browns key in on the game-plan, and once they contain Peterson—if at all—the will ultimately try to create more pressure on Favre and close the box a bit which leaves the flats open, affording Peterson more catches out of the backfield; something the Vikings would like to see more of this year.
Aside from Peterson, look for Favre to have a minimal day, the defense to come up big, while the Browns sit and wish it was still preseason.
Minnesota 27 Cleveland 10
Adrian Peterson Predictions:
21 carries for 125 yards 2 TDs/ 4 receptions for 44 yards and 1TD