Christian Darrisaw’s Debut And Armon Watts’ Great Game

Oct 10, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Armon Watts (96) warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Before I start, I just wanted to apologize for missing the article last week, but I got really sick. The good part is that now I can write about a Darrisaw full game instead of some snaps. And also I’m happy every time the Vikings get a W. After what looked like forever, our first-round left tackle started and played 100% of the snaps. The better part is: he said Monday that he would be good to go if the Vikings had a game this Sunday, so he’s fully healed. With the way he played against Carolina, having a healthy Darrisaw can be huge for the offense. Armon Watts also put on a good show last Sunday, highlighted by his strip-sack. He and Lynch really proved how good our DT depth is in the absence of Michael Pierce (he should be back after the bye).

Christian Darrisaw

The Virginia Tech alumn was drafted back in April with tons of expectations. We all hoped he could plug-and-play in an offensive line that has been a problem for many years now. His second groin surgery slowed down his progress, as he would only be a full participant in practice in the Browns week. He shared snaps with Rashod Hill against the Lions, and now he earned the starting position. He had a fantastic game facing one of the best defenses in the league and a great duo in Brian Burns and Haason Reddick.

Although he set a good foundation for what he can be as a player, I’ll highlight two plays in which he was bad. This is not a shot on him, it’s just to show that he can be even better.

This may have been Kirk’s best play of the game, but look at Darrisaw. He had Burns’ number all game long, but he lost badly here. His hands were up too soon and he missed the jab, allowing Brian to bend and get past him. I couldn’t find the video of the other play but it was the tackle for loss on a screen to Cook. Yes, we had three offensive linemen against one player and he still made the play. He sometimes displayed a lack of awareness, but it should get better as he gets more playtime.

I’m not here just trashing a rookie; I loved the pick back then and even more now. Pay attention to Kirk’s walk-off TD pass to Osborn.

Pay attention to Darrisaw in this play. He starts helping Ezra Cleveland in the double-block and then takes Haason Reddick, third in sacks this season, out of the play WITH ONE GOSH DARN ARM. If he manages to improve along the season, we may find ourselves with a potential All-Pro on our hands.

Armon Watts

As I’ve mentioned, Watts subbed in for Michael Pierce in the last two games. He received a lot of praise, especially from Andre Patterson during training camp and preseason. I think that now we know why. He was good against the Lions last week and even better against Carolina. Watts pushed the pocket well, which helped put Darnold in bad positions and also showed some good rip and inside swims, including in his sack and also Tomlinson’s sack.

The angle isn’t the best to properly see him, but you can see his arm when he moves past the guard. A few months earlier I wrote an article about how the 2019 Draft is blossoming into a very good one. Watts is another late-round pick developed by the coaching staff into a – if not serviceable starter – really good backup. I wouldn’t be surprised if we continue to see him on the field even with Pierce back.