Speaking with the enemy: Minnesota Vikings, The Viking Age


It’s. Finally. Here…almost. Words cannot adequately describe how exciting tomorrow is for a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan. Maybe a GIF can help.

Okay, we should probably tone it down a bit.

Anyway, you get the gist. The Jameis Winston era is nearly upon us! It’s like Christmas Eve in August.

Now we get to see Famous Jameis actually compete against players who are not on his team. Enter the Minnesota Vikings, who played in their first preseason contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Hall of Fame game this past Sunday.

With one game already under their belt, the Vikings’ defense, which gave up the seventh-least passing yards per game (223.3) last season, will present Winston with a great challenge. While we will surely talk more about the Buccaneers and what this first preseason game means to them (stay tuned), let’s take a closer look at their opponent.

Earlier this week, we spoke with Dan Zinski, editor of the The Viking Age, to discuss his thoughts on this year’s team, the outlook on Adrian Peterson in 2015 and more.

While it is an extremely small sample size so far, do you feel like the Vikings’ roster is capable of improving from last year’s 7-9 record?
There’s no question they’re capable of improving. Just having Adrian Peterson back makes their offense better immediately. Teddy Bridgewater should continue to develop. The offensive line hopefully will remain healthy. The defense has a lot of young players who should (hopefully) only get better. Of course you can play better and not necessarily win a lot more games, depending on how things break.

What is the Vikings’ greatest strength? What about their biggest weakness?
Their greatest strength is the guy calling the shots. Mike Zimmer is the real deal as a coach. If you have to break it down by position, I’d go with defensive line as the strongest, deepest unit. Weakness has to be offensive line until Matt Kalil proves he can get it done.

Are there any potential sleeper(s) on the roster that we should keep an eye on during this preseason game?
Brian Peters is a CFL player who made a couple of nice plays last week and is battling to win a linebacker spot.

After nearly an entire year away from the game of football and a nagging leg injury, what are the on-the-field expectations for Adrian Peterson this season?
Realistically, I expect a solid 1200-yard season out of Peterson, hopefully with a good number of catches out of the backfield. With everything the Vikings have assembled on offense, Peterson doesn’t have to be dominating for them to make a playoff run. I don’t think the year away will matter.

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