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JAY DAVIS: Vikings fans learned some things

Sunday night was an enjoyable night of football, don’t you think?
Beating the Packers is always a pleasure, but this was a little more than that. These were two very good football teams going at it tooth and nail. There were a lot of gladiators in the arena at the newly-anointed U.S. Bank Stadium.
I think Vikings fans learned a lot about this team.
On the good side, they learned that the defense is improved from what was one of the best defenses in the NFL last year. They learned that second-year middle linebacker Eric Kendricks has a chance (along with linebacking mate and fellow UCLA alum Anthony Barr) to become a superstar in this league. They learned that the defensive line has speed, power, depth and desire.
On the other side they learned that second-year cornerback Trae Waynes and rookie cornerback Mackensie Alexander are willing, but not very good replacements for the injured Xavier Rhodes, and on the other side, 38-year-old Terence Newman can still play, but fast youngsters are going to get him once in a while.
So, what did we see on offense? Well, we saw that, at least for one week, giving up a number one draft pick next year to trade with Philadelphia and get quarterback Sam Bradford was a pretty good idea. We saw that sophomore Stefon Diggs is ready to become an elite talent at wide receiver. We saw the two of them look like they were made for each other.
But we also saw an offensive line that got flat-out whipped in the running game. In the first half, the O-line was literally getting pushed into the backfield by the Packers’ defensive line.
The blockers did start making a recovery in the second half, but then Adrian Peterson landed funny on his right leg and had to be helped off the field. Peterson has a torn meniscus, which is cartilage and not ligament damage. He could be out for days or weeks. It all depends on the severity of the injury.
That means the Vikings run game could be in trouble. The line is struggling and Jerick McKinnon has had limited play the first two games as he recovers from an injury of his own. Matt Asiata is going to do his job, he always does, but suddenly there is not running back depth. Fullback Zach Line is the only other ball carrier on the roster. It could mean that Augustana’s C.J. Ham might be making his debut soon. He is currently on the Viking’s practice squad.
Here’s one more thing. It is something you all should have notice by now. Head coach Mike Zimmer and his staff are flat-out as good a coaching staff as there is in the NFL.
We learned some ofwhat the Vikings have a chance to be in the win over the Packers. We’ll learn more about them on Sunday when they take on the defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton this week.