In late August, Vikings fans seemed ready to adopt the annual “we’ll get ’em next year” posture much earlier than usual. Fast forward to Week Five, and the Vikings head into their annual bye week at 5-0.
They’ve done it without Teddy Bridgewater, but with one win from Shaun Hill and four in a row from Sam Bradford. They’ve done it with Adrian Peterson not doing much in the first two games before suffering a serious knee injury.
They’ve done it without left tackle Matt Kalil and, on Sunday, without receiver Stefon Diggs or right tackle Andre Smith.
They’re doing it in large part because of a suffocating defense and an ability to generate offense in many different ways.
On Sunday, Bradford distributed 22 reception and 271 yards to seven different players, with receiver Adam Thielen having a career-high 127 yards. Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon combined for 91 yards rushing, and Marcus Sherels contributed a punt return for a touchdown.
The defense added four sacks, with at least two more wiped out by penalties. The bulk of Houston’s offensive production came after the Vikings established leads of 24-0 and then 31-6.
Minnesota now has two weeks to prepare for the team’s toughest test to date: A trip to Philly to face the currently 3-1 Eagles.