The other effect missing RB Adrian Peterson has on the Vikings, of course, is how much attention he commands from defenses.
Six of his 21 carries came against eight-man fronts last week; only the Baltimore Ravens' Bernard Pierce had more carries against an eight-man front in Week 1, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Vikings faked handoffs to Peterson on Cordarrelle Patterson's two jet sweeps last week, and without Peterson on the field, defenses can devote more attention to Patterson and possibly avoid committing an extra defender to the run.
The Vikings have still managed to average 4.57 yards per carry in games Peterson has missed since 2007, according to ESPN Stats & Information, but there's little doubt their offense will take on a different configuration Sunday.
RBs Matt Asiata and rookie Jerick McKinnon will get most of the rushes, but Patterson could see more touches in that capacity. The Pats have proven to be very good at taking away a player on offense they deem most dangerous, and that now becomes Patterson. But at the same time, the Vikings could try to get Patterson a few more touches as he's now their most explosive player. Patterson's fantasy value should go up a bit with Peterson out of the picture.