Oakland - We all thought the development of Teddy Bridgewater into an excellent NFL quarterback would be the key to the Vikings' development. Instead, the defense and running game have been so good all he's had to do to help this team to a five-game winning streak and first place in the division is to not make big mistakes.
With another excellent game by the defense and dominant running performance by Adrian Peterson, the Vikings beat Oakland on Sunday to move into first place in the NFC North.
They should be favored on Sunday when the Packers come to town. They will have a chance to take a commanding lead in the division by beating the Packers. In other words, their dream rebuilding plan may be a year or two ahead of schedule.
Mike Zimmer deserves most of the credit. We've seen talented Vikings teams fail to win, or win on the road, or win in the division, or win when they should win. At 7-2, this Vikings team is one victory away from realistically contemplating how deep it can go in the playoffs.
More from Star Tribune
More From Jim Souhan
Byron Buxton went on the disabled list after admitting that he can't push off on his broken toe. Why is this relatively good news?
This is the first important move of an offseason that could set the Wolves up as winners, or put them on the precipice of regression.
In some ways, Mike Hughes' journey to the Vikings sounds like the path taken by a selection who turned out to be one of the team's best wide receivers ever.
Among other things, the NFL made a wise decision by not having the Vikings open the 2018 season with a rematch against the Eagles in Philadelphia.
The Wolves' offense isn't just struggling; it looks disjointed. There is too much talent on the floor for that to be the case.