Monday Impressions: A Disappointing Vikings Victory

Justin Jefferson / Adam Thielen
Images Courtesy of Vikings.com.

There’s no way it should have been that close. There’s no way we should have allowed the Lions to have any shot at all. Alas, that’s largely been the story of our season. Things shouldn’t go the way they have, and yet here we are. I’m mostly just thankful Greg Joseph was able to step up for our Vikings.

Let’s jump into the Monday Impressions.

The Offense

1) Kirk Cousins, by and large, played well yesterday. He looked really, really crisp when he was throwing on the move. We need to see even more play action and bootlegs. We also need to see far more throwing on second and long.

2) Zim said after the game that the plan was to have Christian Darrisaw on a snap count. By the end, Darrisaw played 28 snaps on offense (42% of our total). He also contributed on 6 special teams snaps. The only question now is how much he’ll play in Week 6. As long as he is healthy, I say it’s time for him to start.

3) Justin Jefferson was unguardable. It’s a shame he wasn’t more of a focus in the second half. I know we were playing with a lead and trying to work the clock, but it’s not like we were up by 30 points. Far more Jefferson, please and thank you.

4) Speaking of sensational receivers, Adam Thielen is way underutilized. True, he had the one long gain nullified by a penalty, but his 2 catches and 40 aren’t nearly enough. That said, his catches set up the Greg Joseph game-winning field goal, so he certainly played a meaningful part in the win for our Vikings.

5) The Alexander Mattison fumble gave me flashbacks to last year’s game against Seattle. On a critical 4th down run, Mattison missed a wide open hole. He would have won us the game with that relatively easy run. On Sunday, we again found ourselves in a tough spot due to our paltry record. Mattison again had a brutal late-game gaffe. Thankfully, we were playing the Lions.

The Defense

1) Seeing Griff back to his old self is awesome. It’s like he never left. PFF credits Griff and Danielle with 4 sacks, 10 hurries, and 16 pressures.

2) We need more from Eric Kendricks in run defense. Maybe I’m expecting too much since he has been so good for so long. I do expect more. In fairness, his interception was fantastic.

3) Anthony Barr is a difference-maker in the front-seven. His size/length/speed combo is unique among NFL linebackers. As the season progresses, I expect Barr to become more important. He had 4 tackles and played 100% of the defensive snaps. Having Michael Pierce and Cameron Dantzler back will go a long way in making the defense work.

4) It was strange seeing Bashaud Breeland inviting the home fans to boo him. It has been a rough start to the year for Breeland. At this stage, he needs to be a backup, but he’ll have a role on this defense by the time it’s all said and done.

5) Xavier Woods was a nice addition. I know he got burned on the late two-point conversion, but he does a solid job out there. He’s consistently around the ball.

The Special Teams

1) Ryan Ficken deserves a lot of credit. The coverage units are consistently sound. We’ve gotten some really great contributions from our backup LBs and DBs, especially in punt coverage.

2) Tip of the cap to you, Mr. Joseph. You may have saved Zim’s job.

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