Vikings Are Unstoppable On Preseason, Will Claim Chargers As Next Victims

Mike Zimmer

Jason Lake

Thursday, August 25, 2016 8:24 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016 8:24 PM UTC

The Minnesota Vikings and San Diego Chargers have both been strong NFL picks during the preseason – but only one can get paid this Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis.

Mike Zimmer might be the new King of Preseason Style. Then again, his Minnesota Vikings have been pillaging the NFL odds ever since Zimmer took over the head coaching reins in 2014. Preseason, regular season, postseason – Minnesota has crushed them all. Yes, even the postseason; the Vikings were 4-point home dogs when they lost 10-9 to the Seattle Seahawks in last year's Wild Card round.

Mike McCoy has been gold during the preseason, too. The rest of the year? M'eh. The San Diego Chargers haven't quite gotten off the ground these past three seasons on McCoy's watch. Blame it on all those injuries, especially on the offensive line. But as long as it's August and McCoy still has the personnel to work with, the Chargers can't be overlooked. That includes Sunday's matchup (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) with the Vikings at their brand-new home: U.S. Bank Stadium. San Diego is a 4.5-point puppy as we go to press.

Invader Zim
Now that we've introduced both of Sunday's head coaches, here are their career preseason records thus far:

Mike McCoy, Chargers: 8-5-1 ATS, UNDER 8-6
Mike Zimmer, Vikings: 8-2 ATS, UNDER 6-3-1

Small sample sizes, to be sure, but that's still an impressive performance by Zimmer. And again, it's not just exhibition games – the Vikes are 18-14 SU and 23-9 ATS under Zimmer during the regular season. He was a respected defensive coach for 20 years, both in college and the pros, before landing in Minneapolis. Zimmer also played both quarterback and linebacker at Illinois State. In different seasons, alas.

McCoy was a quarterback in college (Utah) and the CFL (Calgary), but he never crossed the floor to the defensive side. His entire coaching career, which began in 2000, has been spent on offense. Too bad he's not a doctor, too; RG D.J. Fluker is already out with a foot injury, and rookie OG Donavon Clark is gone for the year with a torn ACL. Sheesh.

Trouble Over Bridgewater
Again, McCoy still has the personnel to work with, but this is Week 3 of the preseason, so the starting units will likely play into the second half. Could be another rough day (all right, a half-day) for a certain San Diego quarterback we all know and love. Here are the QB depth charts as per Rotoworld:

Chargers: Philip Rivers, Kellen Clemens, Zach Mettenberger, Mike Bercovici
Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater, Shaun Hill, Brad Sorensen, Taylor Heinicke (injured)

Outstanding depth for both teams. Bridgewater didn't play against Seattle last week because of a sore shoulder, but he expects to get his reps on Sunday. Zimmer has been coy about it, though. He wants to keep the Chargers on their toes. And since this is the home opener in their new stadium, we'll go ahead and recommend the Vikings for your NFL picks. They look like Purple People Eaters to me.

Free NFL Pick: Vikings –4
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle
Preseason Record: 2-4 ATS, 2-1 Totals

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