Eight years in the making

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The Vikings return home a week after dominating division rival Detroit Lions, and the optimism that surrounded this team before the season began is suddenly back. Behind strong performances from Adrian Peterson, Teddy Bridgewater, and Mike Zimmer’s deep defensive line, the Minnesota Vikings turned their young season around at TCF Bank Stadium.

This week, they play host to the San Diego Chargers in what should be a competitive matchup between two potential playoff contenders. Lindsey Young thinks Adrian Peterson will have a big day on the ground — if he holds onto the footballBrent LaBathe, on the other hand, previewed the Vikings’ defense and thinks Philip Rivers could be in for a long day if Everson Griffen and Co. develop a consistent pass rush.

I also previewed a particularly intriguing matchup — San Diego’s pass-catching running backs versus Minnesota’s young linebacker corps. Both Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead are threats out of the backfield, and the Vikings will need to improve their play in coverage to be successful this afternoon.

I believe the Vikings will continue their strong play against the Chargers this week and come away with a victory. While Adrian Peterson won’t match his record-setting total from eight years ago, he’ll run for at least 150 yards behind a steadily improving offensive line. On defense, Mike Zimmer will dial up the blitzes to rattle Philip Rivers and prevent any deep shots.

Prediction: 24-14 Vikings

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