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San Diego Chargers vs. Minnesota Vikings Preview and Prediction

Author:
Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater

TheSan Diego Chargers and Minnesota Vikings will meet in a matchup of 1-1 teams. The Vikings are coming off their first win of the season after defeating Detroit 26-16 in Week 2.

San Diego lost 24-19 to Cincinnati in Week 2 after opening its season with a 33-28 win against Detroit. Here a preview of Sunday's Week 3 matchup.

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San Diego at Minnesota

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET (Sunday)
TV Channel: CBS
Spread: Minnesota -2.5

Three Things to Watch

1. Rivers vs. Vikings' secondary

Philip Rivers is off to another impressive start in 2015. He's thrown for 644 yards, four touchdowns and an 80.9 completion percentage through two games, despite three interceptions.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer praised Rivers earlier this week, calling him "one of the best quarterbacks of all-time." But he will have his hands full against an improved Minnesota secondary that includes standout safety Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes.

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2. Is Adrian Peterson back?

So which game was more of a sign of things to come: The Vikings' Week 1 loss in which Zimmer disregarded giving Peterson enough carries or his 134-yard Week 2 performance? The answer is probably the latter.

Peterson proved that — despite a year-long absence from football — he's still one of the game's best running backs. Obviously, he's more likely to succeed when given 29 carries rather than 10. The former MVP faces a struggling San Diego defense that's allowed 244 yards and a 4.7 yards per carry average on 52 attempts.

3. Norv Turner vs. former team

Turner served as the Chargers' head coach from 2007-12 and went 52-40 during the regular season. The team reached the AFC Championship Game during his debut season but missed the playoffs the next three years.

He faces both his former team and replacement Mike McCoy on Sunday as Minnesota's offensive coordinator. While he may not admit it, there's obviously some personal feelings riding on this game for the veteran coordinator.

Final Analysis

It's simple, keep giving Adrian Peterson the football and good things will happen. Minnesota's Week 1 loss to San Francisco seems to be an afterthought after a convincing win last Sunday.

The Vikings have a talented young roster but ultimately rely most on the success of their veteran tailback. Teddy Bridgewater doesn't need to throw 30 times a game, but rather when the passing game is opening by Peterson and a strong rushing attack.

The duo should find success against San Diego's defense and earn the Vikings their second win of 2015.


Prediction: Vikings 31, Chargers 21

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