Monday Impressions: The Minnesota Vikings’ Roster Needs Work

After an uninspiring performance, the Minnesota Vikings find themselves as a true longshot to make the playoffs. It wasn’t that long ago that we were in control of our own playoff destiny. Unfortunately, back-to-back losses in a tight playoff race tends to sink one’s chances. The Minnesota Vikings’ roster just isn’t there yet.

Offense

  1. Gary Kubiak didn’t have a good game. Slamming Dalvin Cook right into the strength of Chicago’s defense is incredibly frustrating, especially on critical moments of the game.
  2. While we’re on the topic, how did Adam Thielen only get three targets yesterday? Thielen is rightly being paid as a top receiver. It’s time for the offense to feature him as a top receiver. The offense is big enough for several players to thrive.
  3. Kirk Cousins played reasonably well. He should have had three touchdown passes (Irv Smith Jr had a bad drop), and the final interception isn’t really his fault since it’s a desperation play. All things considered, Cousins has demonstrated really good improvement with his pocket presence.
  4. Tyler Conklin had his second-straight impressive game, scoring his first career touchdown. His YAC ability adds an extra dynamic to Minnesota’s offense.
  5. The Justin Jefferson mid-game profanity is being overblown. Was he frustrated in the moment? Of course. It would be concerning if he wasn’t. Does this mean Minnesota has a problem at receiver? By no means.

Defense

  1. A large part of the blame has to go to Mike Zimmer. Everyone knew Chicago was going to come into U.S. Bank stadium with the goal of running the ball. Even still, Zimmer couldn’t get his defense into a position where they could consistently shut down the run.
  2. Cameron Dantzler is going to be special. It’s astonishing that he was still available in the third round.
  3. D.J. Wonnum continues to show tremendous potential. He made several run stops in the second half, allowing Minnesota to at least have a chance of containing Chicago’s offense.
  4. How much of a difference would Eric Kendricks have made on those Mitchell Trubisky runs?
  5. Minnesota should feel encouraged by Chris Jones. Can he tackle? Frankly, no. What he can do, though, is play reasonably competent coverage. He moves well. If he is my team’s fifth corner, I feel good.

Special Teams

  1. Gotta give credit to Dan Bailey. The guy really, really struggled these past two weeks, so much so that most Vikings fans were calling for him to be cut. Yesterday, Bailey was perfect.
  2. Another nice tackle from Harrison Hand as a gunner. Dan Chisena and Hand complement each other well. The roster is far from perfect, but the Minnesota Vikings should at least feel encouraged by the special teams.

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