The San Diego Chargers (1-1) and Minnesota Vikings (1-1) are each looking to get above .500 at TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday. Will Phillip Rivers get on track and lead the Chargers to victory, or will Adrian Peterson and the Vikings run them out of town?
Here are three keys to the game for both the Chargers and the Vikings.
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1. Eliminate those pesky offensive turnovers
Mike Zimmer's defense is predicated on takeaways. With three turnovers in each of the first two weeks, San Diego's offense has been astoundingly adept at giving the football away. That'll have to change if the Bolts are to avoid another road loss.
2. Reestablish that Rivers-to-Allen connection
Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen connected for a team record-tying 15 receptions two weeks ago. Last weekend? Four receptions for 16 measly yards. No. 17 and No. 13 have some work to do.
3. All eyes on Adrian Peterson, all day
The All-Star running back has torched the Chargers in years past -- and that can't happen this weekend. Remember his 296-yard, three-touchdown record-breaker back in 2007? Neither do Chargers fans; they've blocked it out of their minds.
1. Keep feeding Peterson
The Vikings have found the winning formula, and it's as simple as putting the ball in Peterson's hands as much as possible. Against the Detroit Lions in Week 2, he touched the ball 31 times for a total of 192 yards from scrimmage. The Chargers should face an equally heavy dose of Peterson, as Minnesota attempts to control the clock with its deliberate running game.
2. Play a full 60 minutes
If there's one thing we've learned about the Chargers this season, it's that they're unlikely to fade away in the fourth quarter. They overcame a 21-7, first-half deficit to beat the Lions in Week 1, and they hung around until the bitter end in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday. The Vikings can't let off the gas at all on offense; San Diego will make them pay, if they try sitting on a small lead.
3. Win the turnover battle
The Vikings (+2) and Chargers (-2) are headed in different directions when it comes to turnover differential. Teddy Bridgewater must continue to make sound decisions, while Minnesota's defense takes advantage of Rivers' mistakes (three interceptions in 2015). The only thing that could trip up the Vikings here is Peterson's ball security; he fumbled three times last week, unofficially.