NFC North Ranking, The Running Game Part Six: Minnesota Vikings
Part six of a 32 part series, a running back position analysis of each franchise. The Minnesota Vikings finished second in the division with an 8-8 record. The team showed a lot of promise running the ball as Adrian Peterson emerged as a special player for the Vikings and the league.
His NFL record 296 yards & three TD’s against the Chargers was absolutely phenomenal. It tells you something about Adrian Peterson, the Vikings Offensive Line and the Chargers run defense. There has been some talk that Peterson dropped to the Vikings in the 2007 draft but at the number seven selection, I wouldn’t call that a drop.
Brady Quinn dropped in the draft. The teams at picks 1-6 would love to have been able to select AP but had greater needs at other positions. Going into the 2007 draft and the 2008 draft the Vikings still have a needs at QB, WR, DE. I do not doubt the decision to draft AP just stating a fact. The Vikings completed the rare double of most yards gained and least yards allowed. The Vikings as a team rushed for 165 yards per game.
Adrian Peterson 6’ 1” 217 lbs. 238 Att. 1,341 Yards 5.6 YPC Avg. 12 TD’s
Chester Taylor 5’ 11” 213 lbs. 157 Att. 844 Yards 5.4 YPC Avg. 7 TD’s
Mewelde Moore 5’ 11” 209 lbs. 24 Att. 131 Yards 8.0 YPC Avg.
Maurice Hicks 5’ 11” 205 lbs. 21 Att. 117 Yards 5.6 YPC Avg. 1 TD
Arkee Whitlock 5’ 9” 195 lbs. First year player out of Southern Illinois
It’s safe to assume barring injury that with Adrian Peterson carrying the load for the Vikings their running game will be in good hands & great shape for the foreseeable future. Chester Taylor could be a starter for another team but does a good job when called upon.
Mewelde Moore signed a three-year deal with the Steelers which opened a spot as the number three running back and Maurice “move the sticks” Hicks was signed this off-season.
Arkee Whitlock was a free agent signer this off season and adds depth to the position. The Vikings don’t have a need to draft a running back in the draft. However, if Matt Ryan falls in their laps when its time for them to draft in round one the have to take him to solidify the position.
The question for the Vikings: Can Tavaris Jackson be consistent & make Bernard Berrian a factor to avoid teams from placing eight-men in the box to stop Peterson?
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