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Continued: Souhan: Vikings are better than you think

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 8, 2013 - 12:22 AM

7 Bill Musgrave: Every NFL city loves to hate the local offensive coordinator, and Musgrave can puzzle with his play calls in big situations, but last year defenses decided they wanted to take away Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin and rattle Ponder, and Musgrave designed an offense that made Harvin an early-season MVP candidate, Peterson the MVP and Ponder an effective passer in December. Now Musgrave has more good players with whom to work.

 

8 Jared Allen: Despite his stats, you could tell Allen wasn’t himself last year. Now his shoulder his healthy and he wants to prove he deserves a new contract. A stronger pass rush will help out those young cornerbacks.

 

9 Special teams: Mike Priefer knows what’s he’s doing, and now he has a Pro Bowl placekicker, a new, strong-legged punter and excellent talent in the return game. As the Bears have taught us for years, ignoring special teams when evaluating teams is a mistake.

 

10 The MVP: Whatever his rushing total, Peterson has transformed himself from a remarkable athlete to an inspirational player. His strength of will defines his franchise, and his running ability makes life easier for his quarterback, receivers and defense. The schedule is difficult, but remember how Peterson performed in must-win games against the Bears, Rams, Texans and Packers last year. Predictions are meaningless, but do you really want to bet against this guy?

 

Jim Souhan can be heard weekdays at noon and Sundays from 10 to noon on 1500 ESPN. His Twitter name is @SouhanStrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com

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Cleveland - Z. McAllister
Atlanta - M. Minor 3:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - E. Jackson
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Baltimore - C. Tillman
Arizona - W. Miley 3:05 PM
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NY Mets - D. Matsuzaka
Boston - J. Peavy 3:10 PM
Houston - B. Oberholtzer
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Colorado - T. Matzek
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Kansas City - J. Shields
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Cincinnati - M. Leake
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
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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