Questions Answered: One Injury Hiccup, 32nd-Ranked Defense, the Jets

Questions Answered: One Injury Hiccup, 32nd-Ranked Defense, the Jets
Dec 20, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports.

Questions Answered: One Injury Hiccup, 32nd-Ranked Defense, the Jets

The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by PurplePTSD. Today is the November 30th 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: Are all the injured players besides Darrisaw supposed to be back against the Jets?

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: Yes, Akayleb Evans and Dalvin Tomlinson were full participants at practice on Wednesday, a tremendous sign for Week 13 versus the New York Jets.

They’re taking it easy with Darrisaw, though, and it seems like a longshot as of Wednesday that he would start on Sunday. We shall see.

Moreover, Cameron Dantzler is slated to return in Week 14 against the Detroit Lions. So, despite season-spanning injuries to Irv Smith, Lewis Cine, and Andrew Booth, some bright spots are trickling from the injury report.

Q: Can the Vikings win a Super Bowl while ranking 32nd in the NFL in yards allowed?

Sep 30, 2022; Thundridge, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Ed Donatell during practice at Hanbury Manor. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A: Nope.

They’ve got six weeks to figure it out and stiffen in games before the 4th Quarter arrives. For some reason, the Vikings play porously until the game is on the line and then decide to step up in the final period.

Ed Donatell’s defense won’t get away with that in 3-4 playoff games, let alone one. Whatever they’ve decided is the special sauce in the 4th Quarter must be slathered on Quarters 1 through 3. Plain and simple.

Thankfully, there is precedent for defenses getting hot in December, and that’s what these Vikings must effectuate.

Q: What do the Jets do well?

Questions Answered: Conklin Regret, an Irv Extension, Biggest Threat from ARI
Aug 28, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets tight end Tyler Conklin. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports.

A: Defense, defense, and more defense.

The Jets are a top-five bunch defensively, an unsurprising 2022 development with Robert Saleh in his second campaign as their head coach. And New York stops the run just as efficiently as it thwarts the pass — at a top-five clip. The Jets are equivalent to the Patriots on defense, a team the Vikings defeated on Thanksgiving.

On offense, well, that’s iffy. If newly-anointed starter Mike White is truly the real deal, then New York’s offense will be in good shape. But if White returns to the stratosphere in Minneapolis, the Jets have a bottom-12 offensive group.

The special teams are middle of the road, ranking 17th in the NFL per special teams DVOA.


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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