Questions Answered: Biggest Surprise, Drop after Loss to DAL, Thankful For..

Questions Answered: Biggest Surprise, Drop after Loss to DAL, Thankful For..

The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by PurplePTSD. Today is the November 23rd edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to

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: Who has been the biggest Vikings surprise player so far this season, in your opinion?

Questions Answered: Biggest Surprise, Drop after Loss to DAL, Thankful For..
Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

A: The biggest surprise is a combination of Irv Smith’s lack of impact, plus the trade for T.J. Hockenson, who has flipped the script via TE production.

Folks envisioned an Irv Smith breakout during four consecutive offseasons — and it never happened. Then, the Vikings traded for Hockenson, and he pulled off in one game what folks wanted Smith to do all along.

The trade was, of course, unforeseen, and it will benefit the Vikings for years to come. Give us Hockenson for the biggest 2022 surprise so far, in general.

Q: How far did the Vikings fall in power rankings after the loss to Dallas?

Reaction to Vikings Loss vs. Cowboys
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Dallas Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse (27) sacks Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

A: The world believes the Vikings are around the NFL’s eighth-best team, a drop of five spots after losing to the Cowboys, 40-3.

Heading into Week 11, Minnesota finally commanded national respect. But it was squandered amid the 37-point loss.

Thankfully, power rankings are meaningless and only a thermometer of national opinion. If the Vikings can beat the Patriots, they should earn back some respect.

Q: Which Vikings players are you thankful for on this holiday?

Brian O'Neill
Dec 23, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Brian O’Neill (75) and offensive guard Mike Remmers (74) during the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

A: Among many, we’re thankful for the offensive tackles, Brian O’Neill and Christian Darrisaw. Because of them, the Vikings offensive line should be at-least-decent for the next 5-10 years. And for Vikings fans, that’s a big deal after about a decade of pass-protection futility.

Of course, Justin Jefferson is the man who puts butts in seats, so we’re grateful for him — tremendously. But we’ll stay in the trenches with O’Neill and Darrisaw.

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).