The Chargers travel to Minnesota looking to avoid a second straight loss on the road after losing against the Cincinnati Bengals 24-19 last week. QB Philip Rivers, who got his big contract recently and is now one of the highest-paid signal-callers in the league, is performing well so far this season, completing 81.2 percent of his throws for 645 yards (4th in the league), four touchdowns and three interceptions. Rookie RB Melvin Gordon hasn’t disappointed so far. With 30 carries for 139 yards and four catches for 26 yards, Gordon has shown that he can be a reliable and solid offensive weapon. Defensively, the Chargers haven’t compromised, but they still need to do a better job at containing the run game, as they are conceding 122.0 rushing yards per game (21st in the league).
Minnesota Vikings (1-1)
The Vikings were positively embarrassed by the 49ers in San Francisco two weeks ago, but bounced back from that defeat to beat the Detroit Lions 26-16 at home last week. Minnesota’s rushing defense was brilliant, allowing only 38 yards, with 20 of those yards coming from QB Matthew Stafford. QB Teddy Bridgewater is completing 74 percent of his throws for 384 yards, with one touchdown and one pick, and he has now thrown an interception in five of his last six match-ups. And the Vikings’ offensive line need to do a better job in protection their quarterback, as Bridgewater has already been sacked 6 times (T-6th in the league). RB Adrian Peterson had a much better game against the Lions than the week before, rushing for 134 yards in 29 attempts.
With former MVP Adrian Peterson back with the team, the Vikings have set their sights on the playoffs. But to get there, Minnesota’s young and inexperienced defense must grow up quickly and stay healthy. We’ll certainly have a better understanding of what they’re capable of, as Philip Rivers and his group put them to the test this Sunday. The Vikings need to get Adrian Peterson and the ground game going to take the pressure off of Teddy Bridgewater and open up the big passing plays to WR Mike Wallace. This team seems to play much better at home, but they will have their work cut out for them as they go against a Chargers side looking to establish itself as a valid playoff contender.
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