Reason No. 1
No Austin Ekeler for the Chargers
Through two weeks, it is clear where the Vikings' biggest weakness lies: the run defense. Minnesota currently sits 31st in rushing yards allowed per game with 166, and luckily for them, the Chargers will be without their leading running back on Sunday, Austin Ekeler.
Ekeler has only played in one game this season, but in that contest, he had 116 rushing yards and a touchdown. With the way the Vikings' run defense has performed this season, it is safe to assume that he was going to have a big role for Los Angeles on Sunday if he was healthy.
For Minnesota, they will still need to be able to contain Chargers backup running back Joshua Kelly, who replaced an injured Ekeler last week and had 91 rushing yards on 16 attempts. This is a big opportunity for the Vikings' defensive line to show they have what it takes to stop the run and get off of the field.
In a game that very well could be a high-scoring shootout, Los Angeles not having Ekeler in both the run and pass game ultimately plays a huge part in Minnesota securing their first win of 2023.