North Notes: AP, Walsh, Manziel, Bears

Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is at his best in the shotgun. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is at his best in the I-formation. Bridgewater is eight years younger than Peterson, meaning the Vikings have to consider his development of the utmost importance. That doesn’t mean they’re going to phase Peterson out of their offense, writes Bob McManaman of Peterson had just 10 carries for 31 yards in the Vikings’ 20-3 loss in San Francisco on Monday, but offensive coordinator Norv Turner doesn’t expect that lack of usage to become a trend.

“We’re looking at the things we have to do and the things that give us a chance to beat Detroit,” said Turner. “Games come up different and we all know Adrian is a big part of what we do and we want him to be able to have an impact.”

The Vikings’ matchup against the NFC North rival Lions is one of Week 2’s biggest, considering both playoff hopefuls are looking to avoid 0-2 starts. It’ll be interesting to see if Peterson rebounds and tears through the Lions’ defense – something he’s done throughout his career. The 30-year-old has 1,258 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in 12 games against Detroit.

Here’s more on the Vikings and a couple other North-based clubs:

  • The Vikings elected in the offseason to let Peterson’s former lead blocker, fullback Jerome Felton, depart in free agency. Felton signed in Buffalo for $3.6MM in guarantees, and the Vikings gave kicker Blair Walsh slightly more ($3.7MM guaranteed). Both decisions could prove to haunt the team, opines Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Walsh’s accuracy has dropped precipitously every year of his career, from 92.1 percent to 86.7 to 74.3 last year, and he missed one of his two kicks Monday.
  • With Johnny Manziel set to make his third career start, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal checked off what the second-year man will need to do against Tennessee in order to show the Browns he’s ready for a bigger role. Manziel’s tenure in the pros has been disastrous thus far, so a solid Sunday showing would obviously be a welcome change for him and the Browns.
  • The Bears had the second-most turnovers during the preseason, but most of the plays were made by defenders who are no longer filling prominent roles now that the regular season has begun. That’s a problem, writes the Chicago Sun-Times’ Adam Jahns, who wonders where the Bears’ defensive playmakers are. They have several well-paid defenders and former high-round draft picks, but they were quiet during the exhibition season and in the team’s Week 1 loss to Green Bay. Head coach John Fox is hoping for better things against Arizona in Week 2. “You get 16 opportunities, and we’re into our second one,’’ Fox said. ‘‘I look for improvement.’’
View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.