Questions Answered: Baker Mayfield, Close Game Madness, Akayleb Evans Out

Questions Answered: Baker Mayfield, Close Game Madness, Akayleb Evans Out
Nov 27, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

Questions Answered: Baker Mayfield, Close Game Madness, Akayleb Evans Out

The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by PurplePTSD. Today is the December 5th edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to DustinBakerNFL@gmail.com.

Also, please note: These are opinion-based responses. Some answers will be incorrect from time to time. But we’ll try to keep that to a minimum.


Q: Should the Vikings take a peek at Baker Mayfield, now a free agent after his release by Carolina?

Questions Answered: Baker Mayfield
Aug 19, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) exits the field after the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

A: No. He’s terrible.

The Vikings already employ Nick Mullens as QB2, and he’s arguably more trustworthy than Mayfield, who has flamed out of Cleveland and Carolina.

There was smoke last offseason that the Vikings should trade for Mayfield to push Kirk Cousins for QB1 duties. Well, Mayfield was awful for the Panthers before they benched him. Thank God the Vikings did nothing of the sort trading draft capital for the former first-overall pick.

Let Mayfield go elsewhere.

Q: How abnormal are all these close-game wins for the Vikings?

Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell talks to referee Clete Blakeman (34) during the second quarter against the New York Jets at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

A: The close games are nothing new. The 2021 Vikings actually tied the NFL record for games decided by eight or fewer points — with 14 such games.

But the 2021 Vikings had a 6-8 (.428) record in those games. This year, the Vikings have played in nine games decided by eight or fewer points — and won them all.

The only teams in NFL history to ever approach this level of “undefeated-ness” thru 12 games of a season were the 2009 Colts (7-0) and 2019 Saints (7-0).

Q: How much will the defense suffer with Akayleb Evans hurt again?

Questions Answered: One Injury Hiccup, 32nd-Ranked Defense, the Jets
Oct 16, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Akayleb Evans (21) after a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

A: Evans is back in the NFL concussion protocol, meaning he’ll miss Week 14 at the Detroit Lions and perhaps the following game versus the Indianapolis Colts.

Like Christian Darrisaw’s back-to-back concussions, Minnesota’s coaching and training staff will be ultra-cautious with the rookie defender. And you should champion that.

In terms of Xs and Os, Cameron Dantzler is trending to return for Week 14, though.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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