The Minnesota Vikings are sitting pretty at 5-1 right now and coming off a big road win in Miami against the Dolphins. With this being their bye week, it gives them a chance to get some rest and prepare for some pivotal games coming up in their schedule.
We have learned a lot about this team through six games. Most importantly, we have seen a team come together in a way that we haven’t in recent years. Winning definitely has been the catalyst, but the new coaching staff and regime have brought in a positive energy that has boded well through adversity.
The offense has shown flashes of looking unstoppable, but they are yet to show consistency throughout a game. They will need to figure it out moving forward. While the defense has been far from perfect, they have also shown a swagger that’s been missing and a knack for making plays when it matters most. Opportunistic turnovers have been the key to securing wins and shutting the door on opponents.
Although I’ve been fairly optimistic since before the season began, I have some concerns that should be addressed fairly soon, particularly on the defensive side.
The biggest concern with the defense is how they perform against mobile quarterbacks. Jalen Hurts crushed this defense and had his way the whole first half in which the Eagles scored 24 points. Justin Fields had his best outing of the season against the Vikings defense in U.S. Bank Stadium and brought the Bears all the way back from a 21-3 deficit to take the lead at one point.
Luckily, the Vikings have an extra week to prepare for a matchup with one of the most elusive QBs in the NFL. Their next test comes right out of the bye in Week 8 against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals. Murray’s legs have kept the Cardinals in game so far this season despite an underwhelming 3-4 record.
If this defense limits Murray’s impact in Week 8, we should gain confidence in the Vikings chances to be legitimate contenders.
The best teams in the league have mobile quarterbacks (Eagles, Bills, Chiefs). This is something the Vikings defense must address to give them a chance to win the big games. They have more opportunities in the future, and that should prove whether they are contenders or pretenders. Bring on the Cardinals!