Despite big Week 1 win, Vikings are big underdogs vs. Steelers

Posted September 15, 2017

"You can't say enough about him", Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford said of Cook.

There was so much chatter about Adrian Peterson carrying only six times in the game. Not only that, but Cook would have added to his ten receiving yards if he had managed to hang onto a couple of swing passes.

HOME COOKING: The Vikings drafted Cook in the second round to fit their new zone-blocking scheme with a diverse skill set that could serve them well on passing downs, a snapshot of the evolution of the ideal NFL running back that Peterson was when he entered the league 10 years ago with his unique blend of power and speed.

But this is not the Peterson of 2012, when he was a 2,097-yard rusher for the Vikings.

The NFL has seven owners who gave President Donald Trump $1 million each for his presidential run. Will Lutz made four field goals, three under 25 yards after stalled drives inside the 10. Cook is just getting started, but his performance Monday night on the national stage should have fans excited. Time and time again, Sam Bradford converted from behind the eight ball, which is something he was often (rightly) criticized for being unable to do. "They play Cincinnati's defense every year, twice a year and so they probably have an edge that way", Zimmer said.

Bradford threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns, and wide receiver Stefon Diggs scored two touchdown receptions in the first half. He also found Kyle Rudolph for a score. The Vikings also did a great job against the rest of the Saints' running backs while limiting New Orleans to 60 yards on 21 carries.

The Vikings who follow the spreads probably have a little bit of a chip on their shoulder heading into this one.

Only one Vikings player was unable to practice less than 48 hours after the season-opening win against the Saints, albeit the absence was rather big. Brees ended up throwing for 291 yards and a touchdown, which didn't come until late in the fourth quarter with the game in hand. After one game, the Saints defense finds itself ranked No. 29 leaguewide, two spots below where it finished last season.

The key sequence might have come in the first series.

He can't be happy with the offense, and that includes quarterback Drew Brees.

FLAGS FLY: The Saints had three unnecessary roughness calls in the first half. They are going to stretch you with that bunch, they will get after your quarterback. A touchdown there and the game likely would've taken a much different turn. While the Saints offense was able to move the football in that game, the Vikings defense tightened up in the red zone and effectively stopped four of five offensive drives that entered that potion of the field. At 32-years-old and after plenty of injuries, Peterson isn't the unstoppable running back that he used to be, thus perhaps Payton's partly keeping the future Hall of Famer in the dog house.

Kamara played 31 snaps, while Ingram played 26 snaps and Peterson lined up for nine snaps.

Klein said the Saints have "a lot of good teaching tape", a sentiment shared by head coach Sean Payton after the game.

After a social media stir swirled, Peterson offered more on the situation with a tweet.

Then, two days after the preseason finale, the Vikings shook up the line even more by releasing veteran left guard Alex Boone and replacing him with third-year man Nick Easton, who had started five games last season at center but never an National Football League regular-season game at guard.

Nearly as delicious as setting a record the first night you play a professional sport. "We're both 0-1 now". The next test is Sunday at Pittsburgh, which won't be easy.