The schedule Leslie Frazier and the Vikings have run through this year has provided face-to-face meetings with some of the NFL’s best QBs and best passing games. The Vikings have played 6 games against Top 10-rated QBs and they’ve played 8 games against teams ranked 10th or better in passing yards per game.
From two games against Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford to games against Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Matt Ryan, the Vikings schedule has been relentless in terms of facing elite QBs. In total, opponents have completed 69.1% of their passes against the Vikings for an average of 260.4 yards per game and a TD-INT ratio of 31-6, which adds up to a passer rating of 110.8.
With all of that happening, though, Frazier remains steadfast in his commitment to building a winner in Minnesota around Adrian Peterson and a good defense. It’s a plan that’s worked for the Vikings during Frazier’s time in Minnesota, and it’s a plan Frazier intends to execute once again in the near future.
“I really don’t,” Frazier responded on Monday when asked if he hesitates in planning to build an offense around Peterson. “I know we have the best running back in the game and we’ll get to the point where we’ll be a team that can compete with New Orleans and Green Bay better than we have this season. Very, very happy that we have Adrian Peterson as our running back and that we can build our offense around Adrian.”
High-flying passing attacks gain much of the publicity in today’s NFL. Clips of Tom Brady, Brees and Rodgers slicing up opposing defenses dominate the post-game highlight shows. But there are also several teams who rely on a great ground attack to win games. There are 4 teams – Denver, Houston, New Orleans and San Francisco – who are currently leading their divisions and also have a Top 10 rushing attack. Clearly New Orleans is a pass-first team, but Denver ranks 31st in passing, Houston ranks 17th and San Francisco ranks just 29th. The success of those 3 division-leading teams, who have a combined record of 29-13, is proof-positive that you can win in today’s NFL by being a run-first team.
This isn’t to say the Vikings should abandon their attempt to develop a consistent passing game. Take a look at the playoff field year-in and year-out, and you’ll notice that most playoff teams have productive QBs. With 1st-round pick Christian Ponder in the fold, the Vikings have a good start in developing a better passing game.
As is the case with most rookies, Year #1 has been up and down for Ponder. But having Peterson in the backfield is good for the offense in general, and also Ponder specifically.
“It’s going to be good for our team, good for our defense, offense, our special teams, the fact that we have Adrian as our guy and it should help our quarterback,” Frazier said.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder, Leslie Frazier
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