VIK­INGS (6-2)

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - LEADING OFF - Arthur Arkush

They won their fourth con­sec­u­tive game, 33-16 over the Cleve­land Browns in London, and flew back to the states with a two-game di­vi­sion lead.

Min­nesota could con­tem­plate a quar­ter­back change this week. Case Keenum im­proved to 4-2 as the starter with Sam

Brad­ford miss­ing his sixth game with a knee in­jury. But Keenum again had to rally from a slow start and, although coach Mike

Zim­mer said his backup has “done an un­be­liev­able job,” Keenum has thrown in­ter­cep­tions in three con­sec­u­tive games.

Mean­time, Teddy Bridge­wa­ter, who re­turned to prac­tice in mid- Oc­to­ber for the first time since in­jur­ing his knee in Au­gust 2016, likely will be ac­ti­vated to the 53-man ros­ter. Brad­ford’s in­jury out­look re­mains murky.

“Hope­fully I have a de­ci­sion to make,” Zim­mer said to re­porters of the next piece in his brew­ing quar­ter­back puz­zle.

Min­nesota’s de­fense has been one of the NFL’s best, sur­ren­der­ing just 16.9 points and 282.1 yards per game — down from 19.2 and 314.9, re­spec­tively, last sea­son. DE

Ever­son Grif­fen be­came the third player in team his­tory to notch a sack in each of his first eight games. Safety Har­ri­son

Smith has tal­lied nine com­bined pass breakups (three in­ter­cep­tions), and CB

Xavier Rhodes has played to his nick­name, “Rhodes closed,” with weekly shut­down treat­ment of the op­po­si­tion’s best. In the of­fen­sive back­field, Jer­ick

McKin­non and Latavius Mur­ray have filled the void of rookie Dalvin Cook’s sea­son-end­ing an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment tear in Week 4. Keenum has ca­pa­bly filled in for of­ten-in­jured Brad­ford. Mean­while, the trans­for­ma­tion of an of­fen­sive line with four new starters, eas­ily Min­nesota’s most

im­proved unit, per­haps best epit­o­mizes the im­prove­ments over last sea­son’s 8-8 squad. Player to watch: WR Ste­fon Diggs. Fel­low WR Adam Thie­len and TE Kyle

Ru­dolph stepped up dur­ing Diggs’ twogame ab­sence with a groin in­jury. But Diggs, who re­turned against the Browns, is Min­nesota’s most ex­plo­sive play­maker. He has matched his ca­reer high with four touch­down re­cep­tions.

Num­ber crunch­ing: 3.85. The Vik­ings’ O-line is sur­ren­der­ing a sack on 3.85% of at­tempts. Last sea­son, Min­nesota al­lowed a sack on 6.46% of at­tempts.

Up next: Nov. 12 at Washington. Zim­mer’s Vik­ings were shut out in the sec­ond half of a 26-20 loss last Novem­ber at Washington. The Red­skins, losers of three of their last four games, are deal­ing with a wrath of in­juries.

BRAD REM­PEL, USA TO­DAY SPORTS Vik­ings’ Ste­fon Diggs

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