As soon as Charvarius Ward snatched the ball from Jordan Addison, I couldn’t help but laugh. “Sure,” I thought, “how will the Minnesota Vikings start the game?” I’m sure most of us were somewhere along the same wavelength, believing that the 49ers would jump out to an early lead, and the Vikings would play from behind the entire time. But, somehow, the Vikings found a way to take the momentum back from the 49ers and controlled the game from start to finish.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Could it be that Jordan Addison’s win over Ward at the end of the first half is an omen of what’s to come this season? In the first few games, the Vikings had opportunities blown away with each loss. Now, with a solid win over one of the dominant teams in the NFL, the Vikings have a chance to redeem themselves and completely break out, just like Edison did before halftime. Here we go, gang! This week’s stock market report is below!
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Cancer Cousin – Was this the best we’ve seen in Kirk? He destroyed one of the top defenses in the league, going 35/45 for 378 yards, with two touchdowns and a pick. I think the Vikings wanted to run the ball more, but there was no justification for moving away from Kirk when he couldn’t miss.
Jordan Addison – Edison created a huge ruckus on Monday. Even cramps couldn’t stop this guy as he finished with seven catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns and an 84.9 PFF grade. The Vikings will have one of the best wide receiver duos in the league when Jefferson returns.
TJ Hockenson – Kirk and Hawke are finally back on the same page! TJ traveled 11 times and was Kirk’s security blanket whenever he needed him. After a disappointing start to the season, we should see his excellence continue as the games go on.
Offensive line – Against one of the best defenses in the NFL, the Vikings’ offensive line gave up zero sacks to the relatively steady Kirk Cousins (though to his credit, Kirk Houdini did at least sneak his way out of one sack). This is an amazing accomplishment that I never even dreamed of after the first week. Well done to the big guys, you have surprised us in the best way in the last few matches.
Cam Bynum – The NFC Defensive Player of the Week had the best game of his career, recording two interceptions, nine tackles and a 92.0 overall PFF grade. Bynum beat Purdy on back-to-back drives to end the 49er comeback attempt. What a game!
Harrison Smith – The Hitman continued his excellent age-34 season with six tackles, one pass breakup and a sack on McCaffery. He remains a vital part of the defence, and is the leader of a strong defensive group.
Jordan Hicks – Another great game from last week’s NFC Defensive Player of the Week, who batted away a pass to go along with his eight tackles and a 74.8 PFF grade.
Greg Joseph – You won’t find a kicker who makes every single 50-yard kick, but you should be able to find a kicker who makes every single extra point. If either team performs better in this game, it could be a completely different story. Greg is still my guy, but he has to earn extra points.
Red Zone Offense – As amazing as the offense was in this game, their two red zone failures almost came back to haunt them if the defense hadn’t stopped the 49er’s on their last drive. At least we learned that tush push won’t work for us…
Alexander Mattison, Cam Akers, and Ty Chandler – Nice to see that these three got some work. Mattison and Akers had eight and 10 carries, respectively. Akers had two big plays in the second quarter, the first was a 15-yard run that included two broken tackles, and the second was a screen pass on 3rd and 10 that Akers took to the two-yard line after getting a first down . Chandler got the ball twice, both resulting in explosive plays (even though the double pass was called back). If the Vikings continue to utilize all three running backs, I can see their overall effectiveness continuing to increase.
Akyaleb Evans – I thought Evans had a solid night, highlighted by a pass breakup on third down that forced a failed field goal attempt. It’s hard to tell who is responsible for this defense, but so far it seems like the cornerback group hasn’t been the best, while the safeties have been quality. But on Monday, Evans played well.
Buy – This was the most convincing win we’ve seen in the O’Connell era. I can’t think of another win against a better opponent that the Vikings won without some luck. They beat a Super Bowl contender outright by playing better than them.
Sell – In fact, this win is so convincing that we should now view the Vikings as legitimate contenders. Right now, hold your horses. It was a great win, yes, but the Vikings have a lot of work to do if they want to remain in the playoff race, let alone a Super Bowl. And that starts with sticking to the few middling-to-bad teams they have on the schedule. If they can get a few more solid wins, we can start talking about the playoffs.
Friends, that’s all I got today. Let me know in the comments who I missed.