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Anybody writing off the Minnesota Vikings because they lost Teddy Bridgewater for the season is making a mistake.
Unlike most NFL teams, the Vikings are ground-oriented. Their MVP is Adrian Peterson not their quarterback. Peterson led the NFL in rushing last season. He’s a top-four runner again this season, one of only three franchise running backs with the others being Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott.
The Vikings, Rams and Cowboys can survive without their starting quarterback because of a stud running back. Other teams can’t.
Fantasy-wise, I had Bridgewater ranked 28th out of the 32 starting quarterbacks. I get that Bridgewater has a number of intangibles and is better in real football than fantasy. He was likely to improve this season, although I don’t think it would have been by leaps and bounds. He still would have been far more game-manager than attacker.
The oddsmaker seems to usually underrate the Vikings especially when it comes to their defensive personnel, which has elite talent that is still peaking. Mike Zimmer and his coaching staff are way above average, too.
The Vikings addressed their major weakness by upgrading their offensive line during the off-season. Their line is good enough now that the team recently released John Sullivan, who had been one of their better players before getting injured last season.
Keep in mind, too, that Shaun Hill is one of the better backup quarterbacks. He’s a savvy veteran who is more downfield-oriented than the usual, scatter-arm, dump-off passing backup quarterbacks littering the NFL landscape.
Most contending teams would be totally screwed if their starting quarterback went down. Not Minnesota. The Vikings surround their quarterback with talent – not the other way around where the quarterback has to carry the team. Bridgewater had 10 games last season when he threw for less than 188 yards. The Vikings still won eight of those games.
Minnesota is a top-five NFC team with or without Bridgewater.
Written by Stephen Nover for VegasTopDogs.com