Unsung Week 1 Performer, Mundt Stuff, Buying the Hype?


Questions Answered: Unsung Week 1 Performer, Mundt Stuff, Buying the Hype?
Aug 18, 2021; Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams tight end Johnny Mundt. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by PurplePTSD. Today is the September 13th edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to [email protected]

Also, please note: These are opinion-based responses. Some answers will be incorrect from time to time. But we’ll try to keep that to a minimum.

Q: Who was the Vikings unsung Week 1 performer in your estimation?

Oct 3, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) runs the ball against Minnesota Vikings defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson. Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports.

A: Well, because Za’Darius Smith billed the game as his personal revenge fest, he’s probably disqualified from “unsung” categorization.

We’ll take Dalvin Tomlinson. The Vikings defensive lineman was a disruptor, complicating life for the Packers and recovering an Aaron Rodgers fumble. Tomlinson was wonderful in 2021, too, but nobody cared because the Vikings defense collapsed in crucial spots and irritated fans.

Q: Is Johnny Mundt going to play a TE1 role?

Oct 26, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams tight end Johnny Mundt. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports.

A: No, let’s not get carried away.

Kevin O’Connell explained Mundt was a better matchup against Green Bay — for some reason or another — so Wes Phillips’ offense leaned on Mundt more than Smith.

But Smith is in a contract year, so he “has to” make the most of his opportunity. The team will eventually realize Smith is more dynamic than Mundt, but for now, it appears Minnesota can win with Mundt, as well.

Smith is the TE1, while O’Connell has no qualms with using Mundt.

Q: How much are you buying the national Vikings hype after Week 1?

Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

A: Yes, we are buying the hype, mainly because we predicted the team would be good many months ago.

Minnesota has — and had — wonderful offensive weapons in Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Kirk Cousins, and Irv Smith on the roster when O’Connell took over. It also rostered Harrison Smith, Danielle Hunter, and Eric Kendricks on defense.

The pieces were there to be successful in 2020 and 2021, but the franchise simply underachieved.

In Week 1 against Green Bay, the Vikings showed what life could look like with a different philosophy and approach. Therefore, we remain convinced that the 2022 Vikings are about an 11-6 team.

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).


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