Christian Ponder, QB Oakland Raiders
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The Vikings were in the shotgun or pistol about 65 percent of the time after Teddy Bridgewater took over as the starting QB in Week 4 last season -- the 13th-most in the league, according to ESPN Stats & Information -- and their 565 shotgun snaps in that time were only 210 less than they had in 2012 and 2013 combined.
Adrian Peterson, of course, was in the backfield both of those seasons, and has yet to play his first game with Bridgewater at quarterback. In those two seasons, Peterson ran just 40 times out of the shotgun, or one fewer than Christian Ponder. Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon, on the other hand, logged a combined 114 carries out of the shotgun last season.
"I think the things we're doing out of the shotgun, he's very comfortable with, and getting more comfortable," Turner said. "We're going to give him a good dose of the things he does best and has done best his entire career. We're going to try to spread the field a little bit and do some things to give him more space."
There's little doubt the offense will require something of an adjustment for Peterson, who's made a career out of lining up seven yards deep in the backfield and hitting the line of scrimmage with a healthy fury, the story said. But between the Vikings having enough of Peterson's staples in the playbook and giving the running back enough practice snaps to adjust, offensive coordinator Norv Turner thinks Peterson will be fine with an offense that's a little more spread out. It should only help Peterson as long as Bridgewater and the receivers and prove to be a legit passing threat. It will be a lot for defenses to account for.
Schedule difficulty based on schedule-adjusted, positional defensive ranking. Top DEF = 1, bottom DEF = 32.