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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Win games, get noticed: 3 Vikings among PFF’s 10 surprise performances

By Derek Wetmore

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Some national and international media descended on Vikings practice Wednesday and they might have seen this coming: Mike Zimmer is not one for sentimentality.

It wasn’t all that surprising when Zimmer (respectfully) brushed aside questions about enjoying the moment and looking at how far his team has come. “Honestly, we try not to look too much back or too much forward. We just go week-to-week. We’ve played pretty good team football,” he said.

Likewise, it wasn’t a surprise when Zimmer wanted nothing to do with the Sam Bradford-Carson Wentz storyline this week. (He even told his team that “ this game is not about Bradford and Wentz. It’s about the Eagles and the Vikings.”)

But overall? Losing Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson, having a revolving cast of characters along the offensive line, trading for a starting quarterback days before the regular season began – and yet the Vikings remain ahead of even optimistic projections.

That much is certainly surprising.

The Vikings, widely believed to be a good but imperfect team this preseason, have opened the eyes of NFL pundits everywhere. They’re treating it like it’s no big deal.

Our friend Sam Monson at Pro Football Focus compiled a list of 10 surprise performances and published it last week. Three of his 10 surprises are Vikings players.

Sam Bradford, of course, makes that list, because even if you had higher-than-average expectations for him, you would have thought that he was captaining a new-look Eagles offense to great heights. You wouldn’t have expected Bradford to be traded to the Vikings four days after Teddy Bridgewater’s season ended with a knee injury on the practice field. You also, in all likelihood wouldn’t have said Bradford would succeed as quickly as he has, to the extent that he has, considering the line he’s playing behind.

If you did, well, good guess.

Also on the list is a favorite target of Bradford’s Kyle Rudolph. He’s making good on the dual-threat promise the Vikings hoped they’d get when they drafted him out of Notre Dame.

And last but not least, the ageless wonder, Terence Newman. Here’s Monson:

High-level cornerback play should not be possible at 38 years old. Darrelle Revis is 31 and is slowing to the point that he can’t get it done anymore, but Terence Newman seems to be as good as ever for the Vikings.

It’s not necessarily surprising that Linval Joseph is having a whale of a season, or that Harrison Smith is starting to get talked about as the best safety in the NFL.

It is surprising, though, the level to which the Vikings have overcome obstacles, and these three players deserve some credit for that.

Read Monson’s full column here.

The post Win games, get noticed: 3 Vikings among PFF’s 10 surprise performances appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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