The Kansas City Chiefs visit the Vikings on Sunday and their No. 1 goal will be stopping Adrian Peterson. The Vikings RB is back and looks like he hasn't lost a step in the past three weeks despite playing just one game last season.
Peterson has 372 rushing yards on the season, including two 100-yard games in the past three. For a comparison, Jamaal Charles had 364 yards rushing this year before he went down last week. So, the Chiefs are basically trying to stop Jamaal Charles.
"The speed factor, if he gets to your second or third level, it's tough - you're dealing with a guy with breakaway speed," Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said of Peterson this week, via quotes from the Chiefs.
The Vikings most popular formations include Peterson in the backfield and three receivers on the field. That means the Chiefs nickel run defense will likely be tested often once again. They won't have Dontari Poe in the middle of the field because he's out due to a high ankle sprain. However, for run defense purposes, Jaye Howard is one of the best run stopping linemen this year so I'm not sure how much they'll be hurt without Poe in this game.
The Chiefs tackling also has to be better. They looked like one of the best tackling teams in the first couple weeks of the season and then things got away from them against the Packers and Bengals. Peterson forced 10 missed tackles in a win over the Chargers a few weeks ago. That's the type of tackling the Chiefs will have to avoid.
The Vikings are 12th in the NFL in rushing yards on first and 10 (5.3 yards per carry) compared to the 24th ranked Chiefs (3.48 yards per carry). Minnesota will want to run it and run it early. That first down will be important to avoid the second and shorts.