The wheels are starting to come off in Minneapolis, Minnesota after the Vikings shocking 20-13 loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. As a result of that loss, Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner has made the decision to resign from the position. However, if you know the coaching style of Turner’s offensive scheme you are aware that his area of expertise is developing elite running backs.
Players such as Emmitt Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson had some of their best seasons under his guidance. The Vikings primary weapon on offense Adrian Peterson was lost for possibly the remainder of the season after suffering a torn meniscus in his right knee against the Packers in Week 2.
The Vikings managed to survive without Peterson’s presence in the lineup by starting off the 2016 season with a 5-0 record. The team also had solid play from Sam Bradford, the man that replaced starter Teddy Bridgewater who suffered a season-ending injury near the end of training camp.
However, teams are beginning to find weak spots on the Vikings offense. They have playmakers at the wide receiver position, but Adrian Peterson was the guy that made the Vikings offense excel. Peterson is capable of attacking opposing defenses in so many ways that coordinators cringed when they had to gameplan for him.
Jerick McKinnon has done an exceptional job stepping in for AP, but in no way is he capable of doing the things that made Peterson so special in the Vikings offense. One problem that the Vikings are having right now is their O-line’s inability to protect the quarterback. Sam Bradford has been forced into to making crucial mistakes that are costing this football team to be in dangerous situations.
If Peterson were in the Vikings backfield, he would be able to mask some of those issues that the team is having with the offensive line. However, AP is out, and the team’s offensive production will not get any better. Their defense is superb, but when there is no type of output coming from the other side of the ball, they will remain on the field longer trying to carry this football team.
The Vikings next five games are against potential playoff contenders such as the Detroit Lions who they will face twice this season, Washington, Arizona Cardinals, and the Dallas Cowboys. All five of those teams that I mentioned contain high-powered offenses that could put the Vikings defense in a bind.
We will also find out if they can carry this football team, despite its woes on offense. When the Vikings made the trade for Sam Bradford, many NFL analyst stated that he could replace Teddy Bridgewater as the team’s full-time starter going forward. Fast forward to today and those talks have slowly died down.
Photo credits courtesy of The MMQB.com – SI.com