Over the last 16 months or so, the Minnesota Vikings have endured a great deal of turmoil. Injuries to Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford. Injuries to Dalvin Cook and the offensive line. Norv Turner walks away midseason. The Vikings have dealt with a lot.
And yet, they’ve overcome it.
“I really think all of that has led to the type of team that they are now,” former NFL linebacker and current Vikings analyst Ben Leber said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “They are a very tough-minded football team. I have the ability of being down on the field and watching these guys go through difficult situations. Yes, there can be some emotion that takes place, but (it never seems) like these guys are disjointed, that they don’t know how to handle adversity. And to me, I think on the outside of the Xs and Os, that’s why this team, to me, is so exciting. They are built for the toughest of December and for a playoff run.”
The Vikings (9-2) have won seven straight games, as Case Keenum has completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 2,476 yards, 14 touchdowns and five interceptions.
“You’ve got a quarterback that has played out of his mind right now,” said Leber, who played for the Vikings from 2006-10. “He is syncing very well in this offensive system with Pat Shurmur, and he’s extending plays. Adam Thielen is having an incredible year, they’re actually running the ball more efficiently than they did last year, they’re picking up first downs when they need to do that, they’re closing games out because they can run the football, and then the defense – that’s aways been solid and is getting better with every year that Mike Zimmer has been here. So the recipe is there, all the ingredients are there, and I think they’re a true contender.”
Minnesota, currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC, plays each of its next two games on the road, beginning with Atlanta (7-4) this Sunday. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.