Apologies for the lack of action this weekend, ladies and gentlemen. There hasn't been a hell of a lot to talk about, and my wife and I went out of town for the weekend, so we haven't had a lot of updates.
Behind the great E$PN paywall, we have a couple of articles from DN favorite Bill Barnwell. He's gone through both sides of the ball and ranked the offensive "triplets" for each team in the NFL. We'll do the defensive side in a separate post, but this one is devoted to the offensive side of the ball.
Barnwell said that the quarterback was mandatory for each of his sets of triplets, but the other two skill positions were up for grabs. For the Minnesota Vikings, he chose quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, running back Adrian Peterson, and wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Out of the 32 NFL teams, Barnwell put the Vikings' trio at #20 on his list. Here's what he had to say about them.
Peterson is arguably the only running back in football single-handedly capable of propelling an offense forward, as he did during his MVP campaign in 2012 and, to a lesser extent, during Minnesota's run to the playoffs last year. The Vikings were eighth in rushing DVOA and 19th in passing DVOA despite the fact that teams knew they wanted to run as much as possible and stuffed the box accordingly. Norv Turner's passing attack was compromised by preseason injuries to starting offensive linemen John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt; with the line far deeper this year, Bridgewater should have a chance to produce his best season. Diggs, who averaged 105 receiving yards per game during his first four contests and failed to top 66 yards in his nine ensuing games, would be the beneficiary -- and perhaps the cause -- of a step forward from Bridgewater.
Honestly, I don't think you can make a whole lot of argument with this. Peterson is Peterson. . .he runs the ball better than anyone in the league, but if we're being honest with ourselves he doesn't do a heck of a lot else. Still, as Barnwell says, his talent is such that he can single-handedly carry the offense, so he gets credit for that.
I know that most of us love Teddy Bridgewater, but from a pure numbers standpoint he hasn't done much. We know that he hasn't been asked to do much, and his supporting cast. . .particularly his offensive line. . .hasn't helped him much in his first two seasons. Still, he's been better than advertised (or than some people would like to admit). Here's a stat that's pretty encouraging.
Teddy Bridgewater was the most pressured QB in '15 (46.9%), but still ended up as the NFLs most accurate passer (79.3%) last season.— JR (@JReidDraftScout) June 26, 2016
As far as Diggs, he certainly exploded onto the scene in 2015 after being a healthy scratch for the team's first three games. But, as Barnwell points out, he did slow down a bit after his fast start. If Bridgewater continues to develop, both Diggs and rookie Laquon Treadwell should be the main beneficiaries of it.
That's what we have on the offensive side of the ball for the Vikings. Like I said, I can't see much fault with the logic on this one. When we get to the defensive side, on the other hand. . .not so much.
(That's called a tease. The post on that should be coming shortly.)