If you would have told me before the regular season kicked off that after Week 4 the Vikings would be leading the NFC North, I would laugh at you. I would have laughed at you even if you said they would be atop their division after Week 3. 4 weeks into the season and it is Vikings fans who can laugh at the rest of the NFL for doubting.
On offense while Christian Ponder isn’t putting up MVP type numbers, he is playing smart football. Ponder has 5 TD’s on the season (4 passing) without a single turnover. It is because of that smart play that the Vikings are where they stand right now. Ponder has help from RB Adrian Peterson, who has made an incredible recovery from ACL surgery less than a year ago. “All Day” has actually been off to a slow start by his standards, picking up his first 100 yard game of the season just last week against the Detroit Lions. One of the Vikings best receivers this season has been their TE Kyle Rudolph. Rudolph was a key in the Vikings upset win over the San Francisco 49ers, and already has 3 scores on the year. This Vikings offense has been strong, but it could get even better once Peterson really turns on the jets.
While this Minnesota Vikings defense may not be flashy, they come to play on Sunday morning and do their jobs well. Jared Allen isn’t off to the same pace of last season, with just 2 sacks on the year he isn’t even first on the team. Despite the slow start, it hasn’t slowed down the Vikings defense. Minnesota proved themselves on Sunday, shutting down Calvin Johnson and holding the Lions to 13 points. It also marked consecutive weeks the Vikes held a team to 13 points, as they also held the 49ers to 13. While this team may not force many interceptions (1) they have picked up 4 fumbles this season, and seem to fly to the ball on every play. They may not be a popular defense, but they do what their coaches ask, and for the 3rd time this season, came out victorious.
Christian Ponder: 84 completions of 123 attempts for 824 yards//4 TD’s 0 INT’s
Adrian Peterson: 79 carries for 332 yards//2 TD’s
Toby Gerhart: 22 carries for 59 yards
Christian Ponder: 12 carries for 46 yards//1 TD
Percy Harvin: 11 carries for 54 yards
Percy Harvin: 30 receptions for 299 yards
Kyle Rudolph: 15 receptions for 146 yards// 3 TD’s
Michael Jenkins: 10 receptions for 100 yards
Adrian Peterson: 10 receptions for 64 yards
Chad Greenway: 44 tackles
Antoine Winfield: 30 tackles
Erin Henderson: 22 tackles
Everson Griffen: 3 sacks
Jared Allen: 2 sacks
Chad Greenway: 2 sacks
Josh Robinson: 1 interception
The Minnesota Vikings have simply been stellar in the first quarter of the NFL season. While they haven’t been great in any areas, they are executing on both sides of the ball, and not turning the ball over. While I don’t know if they are for real, they have looked like it so far. If they can continue to execute each week, and limit the turnovers, they could stay in the NFC North race. They already beat the 49ers and Lions, and may not face another true test until Week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals.
Report Card: A