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Kansas City Chiefs vs. Minnesota Vikings Preview and Prediction

Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater

The Minnesota Vikings (2-2) return to action after a Week 5 bye to host the Kansas City Chiefs (1-4). The Vikings fell 23-20 against Denver in Week 4, as a collapsing pocket and Broncos pass rush prevented quarterback Teddy Bridgewater from mounting a successful comeback drive.

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Kansas City has lost three consecutive games since its 27-20 win against Houston in Week 1. The Chiefs not only lost 18-17 to Chicago at home in Week 5, but also will now be without star running back Jamaal Charles (torn ACL) for the remainder of the season.

Here's a preview and prediction for Sunday's game in Minnesota:

Kansas City at Minnesota

Kickoff:1 p.m. ET (Sunday)
TV Channel: CBS
Spread: Minnesota -4

Three Things to Watch

1. Adrian Peterson

Peterson's redemption tour returns to Minnesota in Week 6 against a Kansas City defense that is averaging 98.6 rushing yards allowed per game. But aside from Matt Forte and Eddie Lacy — who was limited to just 10 carries — the Chiefs haven't faced an elite NFL running back in 2015.

Peterson is averaging 5.0 yards per carry and still ranks eighth in rushing, despite the Vikings' early bye week. The veteran back should continue his success in Week 6.

2. Teddy Bridgewater's development into a top-tier NFL QB

Bridgewater has been impressive in his second season. The former first-round pick has worked more as a game manager and provided the Vikings with consistent passing when needed.

Against Denver, Bridgewater nearly completed a successful comeback on the road against one of the NFL's top defenses. However, his lack of protection prevented the Vikings from completing a successful drive.

The young quarterback will get more chances to prove his worth in 2015. But with Peterson running as well as ever, Bridgewater won't have as much pressure to carry the offense.

3. Kansas City offense without Jamaal Charles

The Chiefs lost their best offensive player in Week 5. Kansas City averaged 23.4 points per game, which ranked 14th among NFL teams, through five games.

But without Charles, who accounted for four of the offense's 15 touchdowns, that average will likely see a decline. Quarterback Alex Smith is the only other player to record more than 100 rushing yards.

Kansas City could see more production from Knile Davis, who finished second on the team in rushing yards behind Charles in 2014. There's also Charcandrick West, an undrafted free agent from Abilene Christian University who replaced Charles last week after he got hurt. West is expected to get the starting nod against the Vikings, but Davis, as well as De'Anthony Thomas, should see time in the backfield.

Final Analysis

The Vikings' 2-2 record is deceptive. Minnesota's Week 1 loss showcased a much different team than each of its following four games — mainly the lack of carries given to Peterson.

Even the loss at Denver provided fans with something to be optimistic about moving forward. Minnesota should win Sunday's game at home with another stellar performance by Peterson and a solid output by Bridgewater.

Prediction: Vikings 31, Chiefs 13

— Written by Jason Hall, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and works for Fox Sports Florida. Follow him on Twitter @jasonhallFSN.