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Souhan on Sports

Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene

Souhan: Instant reaction after the Vikings win at Carolina

Charlotte - 

Instant reaction

Mike Zimmer is performing miracles.

The Vikings played one of the best teams in the NFL in a place where that team hasn’t lost since 2014, and won going away in what might be the most impressive victory of Zimmer’s tenure.

The Vikings’ 22-10 victory at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte raises the question: Are they the best team in the NFC?

And is Zimmer the best coach in the NFC?

The Vikings are 3-0. They have beaten the Packers and Panthers in consecutive games. They have thus far survived injuries that would decimate other teams. They are on their third starting quarterback in a month, they have replaced their franchise running back with a committee and they are 3-0.

They may have the best defense in the NFL. They flummoxed Cam Newton on Sunday, a week after flummoxing Aaron Rodgers, perhaps the two most gifted quarterbacks in the league.

And they are headed for a Monday night game in U.S. Bank Stadium, meaning they can spend the week answering questions about whether they are the NFL’s best team at the moment.

This is masterful work by Zimmer. If not for Bill Belichick winning games with quarterbacks of far less accomplishment than Sam Bradford, Zimmer would be the early favorite for coach of the year.

 

I'll file my column to startribune.com later. Thanks for reading.

 

@Souhanstrib

Souhan: Vikings were impressive, and so was the new Vikings stadium

Late Sunday night, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was conducting his postgame press conference when fans in the adjacent room began chanting ``Skol'' and pounding on the windows. Even though the curtains were drawn.

``That's why the thing's shut,'' Zimmer said with a smile. ``I love you fans!''

It was that kind of night. U.S. Bank Stadium is incredibly loud. Guard Alex Boone said he appreciated the fans' enthusiasm but wishes they would ``shut''...``up''. He may have added a couple of words to that phrase.

I wrote my column about Sam Bradford's remarkable adaptation to a new offense under difficult circumstances. That's in the paper and online.

This is more about the atmosphere around the stadium last night. The concerts and gatherings on the commons were impressively run and a lot of fun. The atmosphere in the stadium was impressive. And the Vikings were impressive while potentially losing another key player.

Adrian Peterson left the lockerroom on crutches and with a sleeve on his right knee. Zimmer downplayed the potential severity, saying he needed to see the results of Monday's MRI and that he could see Peterson missing a week.

But he doesn't know. And he doesn't reveal much injury information.

So by Week 3 the Vikings could be playing without their franchise quarterback and franchise running back.

They have found a franchise receiver. Stefon Diggs was spectacular. And at some point he's going to need some help.

He had 182 yards receiving. The Vikings rushed for 30 yards. Other receivers managed 104 yards. Bradford to Diggs was the offense, with a little help from Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph.

Also: If you haven't seen the Minnesota Orchestra's halftime performance, please check it out.

Also, and I noticed a lot of people didn't like this stat, but Teddy Bridgewater's highest passer rating in an NFL game was 120.7. Bradford's was 121.2 on Sunday. For what it's worth. Which might not be a lot. But Bradford was spectacular.

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You can find all of the shows from the Minnesota Sports Podcast Network at MNSPN.COM with me and hosts Michael Russo, Tim Yotter of Viking Update, Jon Krawczynski and Roy Smalley, plus our fan show.

@Souhanstrib

Final, 9/25 R H E
Seattle 81-73 4 6 0
Minnesota 56-99 3 9 3