After losing Teddy Bridgewater to a torn ACL and then losing Adrian Peterson to a knee injury of his own, most thought the Vikings’ season was over. However, after three weeks of the Vikings are 3-0, so why aren’t the Bridgewater and Peterson injuries affecting this team?
Defense First, Easing Schedule Second
When Mike Zimmer came over from the Bengals to be the Vikings head coach, most thought he would bring a defense-first style of game plan to the Vikings. They were coming off some bad seasons in the NFC North, but in a very short amount of time, Zimmer has built most likely the NFL’s toughest defense.
Up front Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter have been wreaking havoc on opposing offensive lineman and so far Griffen has four sacks on the young season.
Not only have they been great at getting after the quarterback, the Vikings’ defense has allowed less than 300 total yards per game, which includes games against the Packers and Panthers, the cream of the crop in the NFC.
The Vikings might not stop there either and their 3-0 start is in no way a fluke. Sam Bradford and the offense just has to be good enough and not turn the ball over to get this team wins with the defense they have. Plus, their schedule is quite favorable.
While most saw them going 1-2 to start the season regardless, their 3-0 start has opened up their schedule. Their next two games are at home against the Giants and Texans, who very winnable games and after those two games, their schedule starts to get more favorable.
After a bye week they play the currently 3-0 Eagles, but after that, the Vikings’ last 10 games are not bad at all. Their eight opponents in those 10 games (they play the Bears and Lions twice in that stretch) have a current combined record of 8-16 through three weeks.
They may not be full strength, but if offenses can’t figure out this nasty defense, the Vikings are still a threat to win it all, especially if they make another trade to bring in another running back to help in that department. The offense still has upside though, so it may take only one missing piece to make this club worthy of a Super Bowl future odds play.
The Cowboys were seemingly the best team in the NFC East before the season, but the Tony Romo injury and the Eagles’ hot start has put that in question. However, the young Cowboys are getting it done on offense and it could be the start of something special.
Dez Bryant’s injury is a bit concerning, but as long as he isn’t out for a long period of time this Cowboys team is good enough to still win the division.
Plus, even with Dak Prescott playing well, one has to think the team will go back to Romo after he has recovered from his injury. He is reportedly progressing well and has started to throw the ball again, which is a big step after a back injury. Romo is currently targeting a Week 8 return, but the question is, should the Cowboys keep Prescott in even when Romo is back around midseason? Only time will tell, but it would take Prescott playing even better than he already has for Dallas to seriously consider it.