COMMENTARY: There’s more to the Minnesota Vikings than people think

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COMMENTARY: There’s more to the Minnesota Vikings than people think

Photo courtesy By MN National Guard, CC BY 3.0,   by WikiCommons.

Photo courtesy By MN National Guard, CC BY 3.0, by WikiCommons.

Photo credit/ Tech. Sgt. Paul Santikko

Photo courtesy By MN National Guard, CC BY 3.0, by WikiCommons.

Photo credit/ Tech. Sgt. Paul Santikko

Photo credit/ Tech. Sgt. Paul Santikko

Photo courtesy By MN National Guard, CC BY 3.0, by WikiCommons.

Alex Eiden, Asst. Sports Editor

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The Minnesota Vikings are more than Adrian Peterson and Teddy Bridgewater. This couldn’t have been said five years ago, but this is 2016.

With Mike Zimmer at the helm, Norv Turner as the offensive coordinator, and a stifling defense that held the division-rival Green Bay Packers to 14 points in Week 2 of the season and the defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers to just 10 points this past Sunday, the Vikings are no joke.

In addition, the defense is ranked sixth best overall in the league through three games.

Sure, losing running back Adrian “All Day” Peterson and rising star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is a blow to the Vikings’ charisma, but it isn’t a knockout punch.

Since Zimmer started coaching in 2014, the defense has only gotten better, going from the second worst passing defense in the NFL in 2013 to the seventh best in 2014, according to NFL.com. They were ninth best in the league last year.

A mix of veterans, established starters, and rising stars highlights the defense as well.

In terms of the vets, both middle linebacker Chad Greenway, drafted in the first round in 2006, and defensive end Everson Griffen, drafted in the fourth round in 2010, have been in the NFL for extended periods of time and have spent their entire professional careers with the Vikings. Griffen has 44 total sacks since joining the organization.

There are also established playmakers like outside linebacker Anthony Barr and strong safety Harrison Smith. And then there are the rising stars, like defensive end Danielle Hunter and outside linebacker Eric Kendricks, who was the first Vikings rookie to lead the team in tackles in franchise history last season.

Because the two biggest losses since the season opened came on the offensive end, most experts believe the Vikings offense will end up on the bottom of the NFL rankings.

That may not be the case, because the Vikings have a young and athletic receiving corp, led by number one target Stefon Diggs, who has 325 receiving yards through three games. The rest of the group includes underrated talent such as Adam Theilen, Jarius Wright, Charles Johnson, Laquon Treadwell, and tight end Kyle Rudolph.

Since drafting Peterson in the 2006 Draft, the Vikings have had one identity: him. He’s now 31 and only going to keep losing his mojo as time goes on.

Professional sportscasters and anchors can’t really think the Vikings will rely on him until his last, dying breath.

The Vikings know they are more than Peterson and Bridgewater, and they are going to prove it this season.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

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