Minneapolis, MN – Through 9 weeks, Minnesota sits atop the NFC with an 8-0 record. It hasn’t always been the prettiest road to an undefeated record, but the Vikings have found ways each week to win. Offensively, the game plan for the Vikings is running the ball, working the clock and not turnover the ball over. Defensively, it has been getting after the quarterback and forcing turnovers. Five of the eight wins have been within a touchdown or less. It’s nothing new for the Minnesota Vikings. They look almost comfortable in these types of games. From a fan perspective it’s stressful, but if you were to ask any player in the locker room and you would get the same answer, “We expect to win.” The remaining schedule is not a breeze whatsoever and if Minnesota wants to continue to win they will need to stick to what they do best.
Kirk Cousins is completing 78% of his passes and has a QBR of 105. The wow numbers are obviously done but Kirk has been Coach Moss’s game manager. The west coast style has suited Kirk well, as he is able to get the ball out quickly to his open targets. Kirk has only thrown 4 interceptions through 8 games, three of which came in one game.
Dalvin Cook got out to a blistering pace through the first five weeks but cooled down the last three weeks. Unfortunately, Cook suffered a gruesome ankle injury that will sideline him 6-8 weeks. This leaves rookie fourth round pick Derel Arnold as the lead back. Keith Marshall and Mike Boone will also see some carries. Look for a running back by committee approach until Cook gets back.
Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs have been as solid as they come. Again, the passing numbers are not jumping off the charts. The west coast style of play and strong defense has led to Minnesota being ahead and not having to throw the ball. When Kirk needs to get a first down, Thielen and Diggs have been his guys. Look for these two to continue to Cousins safety blanket the rest of the season.
This group is young, but has a lot of potential. Kirk Cousins hasn’t be running for his life as you would expect to see from a young and inexperienced line. The west coast offense has been a perfect fit for these guys as they are not having to block for extended periods of times because the ball is getting out to where it needs to go. Though the running game has cooled down as of late, Coach Moss is confident that this group will get back on track.
Griffen, Joseph, and Hunter are one of the best groups in the league. Each bring something to the table. Griffen is the reigning MVP and although his numbers are down from last seasons historic numbers, his presence is felt. He has seen more double teams this season which has opened up areas for other guys. Expect Griffen to take his game to the next level down their stretch run.
Barr, Kendricks, and Wilson have next level speed at the linebacker position and fly all around the field. The key for these guys has been staying healthy and also having those strong guys down in the trenches clogging up running lanes. Two of the three are locked in long-term as Wilson is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. GM Michael Prince has openly stated that he would like to get a deal down to bring back Wilson for years to come.
Superstar Harrison Smith is the leader of the secondary and currently leads the team for the second straight season in interceptions. Xavier Rhodes has been the lockdown corner that the team expects him to be. This group reaps the benefits from the 7 players in front of them. Other news, the team re-signed young corner Mackensie Alexander.
Week 10: vs (3-5) Chargers
Week 11: @ (7-1) Cowboys
Week 12: @ (5-3) Chiefs
Week 13: vs (2-6) Lions
Week 14: @ (6-2) Saints
Week 15: @ (3-5) Packers
Week 16: vs (3-5) Eagles
Week 17: vs (2-6) Giants