Through five weeks of play, the Minnesota Vikings remain the only unbeaten team in the NFL. The team is now considered a likely Super Bowl contender, which was originally doubtful considering its early setbacks. Even before the season started, rising star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a season-ending knee injury. Later, in the Vikings’ Week Two matchup against the Packers, Adrian Peterson suffered a meniscus tear in his knee after leading the league last year with 1,485 rushing yards.
Part of Minnesota’s success has come from a stout defense that head coach Mike Zimmer has built over the past two years, according to the team’s website. The team has allowed the fewest points per game (12.6) and the fewest yards per play on first downs (3.5). A lot of this success has come from the front seven. Multiple blitz schemes have put continual pressure on some of the top quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning and Cam Newton. Under a stifling defense, these quarterbacks have managed only 34 points and a combined quarterback rating of 28.5. Moreover, Xavier Rhodes has played a huge role in an already lights-out secondary. Tasked with covering Odell Beckham Jr., Rhodes limited the Giants’ number-one receiver to just three catches for 23 yards. With an upcoming bye week, the Vikings have extra time to prepare for the Philadelphia Eagles and possibly extend their undefeated streak.