One of the hardest games to predict on the week 3 slate pits the Chargers and Vikings. Both teams have started the season 1-1 and are eager to keep pace in their respective divisions. San Diego has won the last two meetings between the teams, but I’m sure they don’t forget when Adrian Peterson went off for an NFL record, 296 rushing yards back in their 2007 matchup.
Here are five things to watch for in a game that shapes up to be extremely competitive and exciting:
Can Teddy Bridgewater Keep Up With Philip Rivers?
The young signal caller for the Vikings has posted an impressive 74% completion percentage through two weeks. However, he has stuck to the conservative approach with short-intermediate throws while averaging just 164 passing yards per game and hasn’t taken advantage of Norv Turner’s offense which is based around deep passes. Philip Rivers has gotten off to a good start, completing 81% of his passes with over 300 passing yards per game.
Bridgewater faces an extremely tough test early on in the season. If the game turns into a shootout, it’d be hard to go with the up and coming QB over the proven veteran that is Rivers.
Will Adrian Peterson Return to Elite form?
As stated before, Adrian Peterson set the single game rushing record against none other than your San Diego Chargers. After sitting out pretty much the entire 2014 season, he returned this year with a chip on his shoulder and a lot to prove. After a slow start in week one, AP went off for 134 rushing yards and 58 receiving yards last week in a win against Detroit. However, he fumbled the ball twice.
Peterson’s success on the ground will heavily impact the flow of the Vikings’ offense. He is set to have a big day as the Chargers field a suspect run defense which allowed Giovani Bernard to run wild.
Can Melvin Gordon Post a Breakout Performance?
As a fantasy owner, I was very high on Melvin Gordon entering the season and made sure I snatched him up early on in my fantasy draft. Through two games, he hasn’t been worthwhile just yet, but he showed steady improvement from week 1 to week 2. If he continues to show signs of progression, he could be in for a big game against the Vikings.
A game that is mostly expected to turn into a QB duel very well could turn into Adrian Peterson vs Melvin Gordon. While that favors Minnesota, it will still be a bright spot for fantasy owners with Gordon in their starting lineup.
Which Pass Rush Will Show Up?
Between both teams, they have posted only 3 sacks in a combined 4 games to start the season. The pass rush will prove to be a vital factor in this game as both defenses haven’t gotten off to a great start. In a game that is expected to be won with defense, whichever defense can make big plays very well could lead their team to victory.
With the likes of: Anthony Barr, Everson Griffen and Brian Robison, the Vikings very well could find themselves taking advantage of a weak San Diego offensive line.
Norv Turner Faces His Former Team
After serving as the head coach of the Chargers from 2007-2012 while posting a 56-40 record, he was fired prior to the 2013 season and enters his 2nd season as offensive coordinator in Minnesota.
Turner brings a dynamic offensive scheme to Minnesota, but it has not yet been on display this season. The Chargers’ defense could be at an advantage with their familiarity with Turner’s scheme.