Chart: Vikings offense at a glance

  • Updated: August 31, 2013 - 6:16 PM
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Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) warmed up before Friday night's game vs. the Buffalo Bills. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ cgonzalez@startribune.com August 16, 2013, NFL Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, NY Minnesota Vikings vs. Buffalo Bills ORG XMIT: MIN1308161746493566 ORG XMIT: MIN1308232129056246

RAISING THE BAR

No one raises the bar like Adrian Peterson. The reigning league MVP averaged 131.1 yards per game (2,097 yards total) a year ago. This year, he wants 156.3 so he can reach 2,500, his well-publicized goal. “I think it’s a good goal to have, if you’re Adrian Peterson,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. But is it in the Vikings’ best interest to remain so one-dimensional? Remember, the Vikings lost at Green Bay when Peterson ran for 210 yards. The bar that really needs raised on offense is better balance and less predictability. The Vikings, who had a passing attack that ranked 31st in the NFL, still just squeaked into the playoffs and were quickly dismissed. A revamped receiving corps could help quarterback Christian Ponder achieve a consistent balance. Of course, that could happen and Peterson still could reach his goal. “With that dude? It’s logical,” defensive end Jared Allen said. “And, yeah, that’s crazy.”

STAR WATCH

Probably no player in the league is looking forward to actual meaningful games more than Greg Jennings.

Since arriving from Green Bay via free agency, the wide receiver has had to address questions about being old, injury-prone and a diva who doesn’t play nice with his former team, particularly its quarterback. Fortunately for Jennings’ snakebit tongue, the attention soon will shift to his legs, hands and veteran savvy as an eight-year veteran receiver in an offense starving for a non-petulant playmaker at that position. Jennings has defended Ponder as a talented young quarterback who needs receivers and the confidence to trust those receivers. “No disrespect to the guys he was throwing the ball to, but you can just get a sense that he needed a little more help,” Jennings said. Jennings turns 30 on Sept. 21 but insists, “I’m not old. … I can definitely still make plays.” All eyes will be on him to prove that after missing 11 games the past two years, including eight last year, because of knee and core muscle injuries.

THE X FACTOR

Ponder has played 27 NFL games with 26 starts. His completion percentage in those games: .592. In today’s NFL, that’s not gonna cut it. Even Ponder’s career completion percentage at Florida State (.618) won’t cut it nowadays. Ponder needs to sling it like he did as a junior at FSU. His completion percentage that year: .688.

THREE QUESTIONS

1 Can coordinator Bill Musgrave stay true to the team’s Adrian-first identity while striking a winning balance that incorporates Jennings, raw rookie Cordarrelle Patterson and a healthy John Carlson for the multiple tight-end sets?

2 What’s the next step for the offensive line, a unit that played intact for 17 games during a playoff season a year ago but was shaky this preseason? Drafting two guards could be something to remember if the line struggles.

3 Can 27-year-old receiver Jerome Simpson redirect his career arc upward to where he left off in Cincinnati in 2011 or will he continue the slump that began with last year’s suspension and back injury?



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  • Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder warmup before the Minnesota Vikings third preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park, Sunday Aug 25 ,2013 in San Francisco , CA. ] JERRY HOLT ‚Ä¢ jerry.holt@startribune.com

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Cincinnati - LP: J. Broxton 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 9
NY Yankees - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 4
Boston - WP: A. Ranaudo 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: C. Archer 4
Miami - LP: C. Hatcher 2 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter 5
Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar 6 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 1
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 7 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: S. Carroll 1
Texas - WP: S. Baker 13 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: N. Ramirez 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: P. Neshek 2
Colorado - LP: R. Brothers 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: B. Ziegler 5
Oakland - LP: J. Lester 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver 4
Los Angeles - LP: K. Correia 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Stauffer 3
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 8 FINAL
Seattle - LP: F. Hernandez 3
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 2 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: R. Vogelsong 13
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 3 FINAL
Sporting Kansas City 1
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 71 FINAL
Phoenix 85
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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