Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings security Harrison Smith and protection. Obligatory Credit score: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports activities.
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From a suggestion by a reader, we proceed our “snap reactions” weekly piece detailing ideas and evaluation after a Minnesota Vikings recreation.
This shall be off-the-cuff, a wee bit “random,” and hopefully insightful.
The Vikings climbed to 7-1 atop the NFC North after a suspenseful win over the Washington Commanders in Week 9. Minnesota downed Washington 20-17.
1 – For the primary time in 2022, the Vikings really feel like a Tremendous Bowl contender. They didn’t win with a convincing scoreboard displaying, however the grit wanted to systematically come again from down 17-7 within the 2nd Half was spectacular.
2 – The Vikings have gained six in a row. The Packers have misplaced 5 in a row. That’s how a division is misplaced for the incumbent — on this case, Inexperienced Bay. The Packers short-term trajectory isn’t the one factor in bother. These subsequent eight video games could also be it for Aaron Rodgers.
3 – Kevin O’Connell couldn’t get the operating recreation going — that’s often a loss of life sentence for the Vikings — however his crew gained anyway. That’s the sign of a crew whose ceiling is greater than a fringe wildcard sniffer.
4 – 5 days after the commerce, T.J. Hockenson was accessible to play for Minnesota — and was focused greater than any Vikings tight finish since 2018. The subsequent half-decade with him shall be extremely enjoyable. Actually, one would possibly ask, “How would the Vikings have won that game without Hockenson?”
5 – The Vikings large receivers had alternatives to blow this recreation open, however drops have been too prevalent. And drops disappeared for a few weeks after they have been an issue to start out the season. We will see what Week 10 appears to be like like on this regard.
6 – Sunday was a case examine on classic Taylor Heinicke. He’s good and gritty for about 2-3 drives per recreation, after which the remaining is only a combined bag of mediocrity.
7 – The Vikings offensive line was dominated in Week 9. It was virtually as if Cousins had a lot expertise below siege from 2018 to 2021 — that he was totally ready for the second when his trenches let him down for the primary time in 2022.
8 – Akalyeb Evans was magnificent, stepping in for Cameron Dantzler after an ankle harm. Evans is a rookie, a fan favourite on social media, and he was merely marvelous on Sunday. Earlier than Sunday, Minnesota felt skimpy by way of cornerback depth, however Evans might taper these fears.
9 – Kirk Cousins’ gutsiness to bounce again after getting the wind knocked out of him — inside his former crew’s home — was super and a testomony to his fortitude. Toughness is a very unsung device in his repertoire.
10 – Danielle Hunter proved but once more that he’s not a person who “struggles with a 3-4 defense.” He simply wanted time to regulate, and now the proof is within the pudding.
11 – Minnesota in all probability gained’t beat the Buffalo Payments subsequent weekend, however is a 7-2 document returning residence for a humongous date with the Dallas Cowboys actually all that unhealthy?
12 – Week by week, the Vikings protection is bettering. And it’s now arrived at a degree the place it’s truly fairly good and never completely bend-don’t-break.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the College of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his every day YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs each Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates again to 1996. Listed responsible pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doorways (the band).
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