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This is Episode 142 of VikesNow, a YouTube channel devoted to daily Minnesota Vikings analysis. This episode examines storylines for Minnesota’s Week 6 trip to Miami.
Particularly, the pass rush, offensive line, Kirk Cousins, and other items are discussed.
Email any feedback — especially constructive criticism — to DustinBakerNFL@gmail.com.
The Vikings knocked off the Chicago Bears in Week 5, 29-22, courtesy of another game-winning drive from Kirk Cousins and a wild fumble yank-away from cornerback Cameron Dantzler. Minnesota’s defense was up to its old tricks, falling asleep during the game’s midsection while rising up in the 4th Quarter. It’s become a trend.
Wide receiver Justin Jefferson registered 12 catches, 154 receiving yards, and no touchdowns as the Vikings slipped by a scrappy little Bears team that clearly lacks talent.
The Vikings are 3.5-point road favorites against Miami Dolphins in Week 6, who lost in Week 5 at the New York Jets, 40-17. The Green Bay Packers lost in London to the New York Giants, enabling Minnesota to sit alone atop the NFC North, at least for two weeks. The Vikings are also the No. 2 seed in the NFC behind the Philadelphia Eagles and would host a home playoff game if the playoffs started today.
Minnesota’s offensive line continues to jell, a total change of pace from any season since 2012. Tackles Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill are performing masterfully, Garrett Bradbury isn’t horrible all of a sudden, and then guards Ezra Cleveland and Ed Ingram are holding their own. It feels like a brave new world for a Vikings team to keep quarterback Kirk Cousins upright.
A 6-6 record the rest of the way would plop the Vikings in the postseason. Of course, winning the division is preferred, but .500 football the rest of the way, as a worst-case scenario, would net a playoff berth.
The Vikings are expected to face 7th-Round rookie QB Skylar Thompson this weekend.
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 Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).