Is the Vikings offense better without Adrian Peterson?

Do the Vikings need Adrian Peterson?

As the Vikings enter their bye week, they are the lone undefeated team in the NFL. Their stellar play has also come without the help of former NFL MVP Adrian Peterson.

Peterson was injured in Week 2 against the Green Bay Packers. With Peterson absent, the Vikings offense has turned to Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata to carry the rock for Minnesota.

Sam Bradford took over as Minnesota's starter in Week 2, and although he's played in just four games, he's enjoying his best season (so far) in his seven-year career.

With Peterson injured and Bradford playing well, both ESPN and USA Today have pondered if the Vikings are better off without Peterson beyond the 2016 season.

Lets take a look at how the Vikings have played so far without their star running back.

For starters, the Vikings rushing attack ranks dead-last in the NFL. McKinnon is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry and Asiata is averaging just 2.9. It's worth nothing though Peterson also put up dreadful numbers before being injured.

In terms of passing yards per game, the Vikings are 20th in the league. But if you're looking at passer ratting, Minnesota is inside the top 10.

Because of Peterson's injury and the lethargic effort by the other tailbacks, the Vikings are passing a lot on first down. They're going to the air 53 percent of the time on first down, compared to just 33 percent in 2015.

Obviously the Vikings are 5-0 and their elite defense has carried them to this point.

Although they've gotten solid play from Bradford, clearly the Vikings need to be better at running the football to give them a more balanced attack on offense.

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