Monday Impressions: Vikings Get First Win

On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings were able to get their first win. It feels good to bounce back from three-straight rough weeks. Nevertheless, there is plenty of work to be done. Here are a few Monday Impressions to get your week started.

Offense

  1. Kirk Cousins had a good game overall. His long throw to Kyle Rudolph was a Mahomes-like play. Nevertheless, there were several missed throws. Through four weeks, Cousins hasn’t had a really crisp game.
  2. Both Buffalo and Minnesota are pleased with the trade. Stefon Diggs and Justin Jefferson are both great.
  3. The Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook combo gives the Vikings an elite trio. Will their o-line, QB, and OC be able to maximize these players? Cousins is the key to holding it all together.
  4. The Vikings still need to do a better job of incorporating other players into the offense. Rudolph made a couple nice plays, but it was another quiet week for Irv Smith Jr. There should be touches for Bisi Johnson, Chad Beebe, and Tyler Conklin sprinkled into the game plan to keep opposing defenses honest.
  5. Will fans be enthusiastic about Pat Elflein returning?

Defense

  1. Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler have passed Holton Hill on the depth chart. As Chris Tomasson notes, Gladney played all 65 snaps whereas Dantzler played 63 (he came out briefly because he got hurt). Hill, in contrast, played 51. It’ll be interesting to see what the rotation looks like when Mike Hughes returns from his injury.
  2. D.J. Wonnum continues to get meaningful snaps. Zimmer did a nice job of putting him in a position to succeed.
  3. The Harrison Smith ejection changed the entire trajectory of the game. The Vikings have struggled to maintain strong defensive play, so it’s possible that the Texans would have made a comeback. Nevertheless, it was tough seeing George Iloka give up big plays. A situation like this one is where the Vikings miss having Jayron Kearse.
  4. With Smith out, the Vikings were missing an elite player at all three levels of the defense: Danielle Hunter, Anthony Barr, and then Smith. All things considered, Zimmer did well.
  5. The Vikings need more from Ifeadi Odenigbo and Yannick Ngakoue.

Special Teams

  1. When excluding the punter, kicker, long snapper, and then perhaps a returner, it’s unusual for a team to keep someone solely for special teams. On Sunday, Dan Chisena gave fans an idea of why he is on the roster. The fumble recovery is big, but it’s also notable that he is consistently the first one down the field in coverage. He is long and fast and aggressive.
  2. K.J. Osborn is very poised when he is catching punts and kickoffs. So far, he hasn’t had any tremendous returns. Even still, Osborn does inspire some confidence back there.

The Vikings were able to get their first win, but there is no rest for the weary. The Seattle Seahawks are the next opponent. If they can win this game, then perhaps the Vikings are for real.

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