X-Factor for Week 1, Irv Smith Prediction, Trubisky

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Questions Answered: X-Factor for Week 1, Irv Smith Prediction, Trubisky
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Za’Darius Smith. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by PurplePTSD. Today is the September 5th 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: Identify the Vikings main X-Factor against the Packers this weekend.

Questions Answered: New Starters, New Numbers, Will Patience Be a Virtue
Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Za’Darius Smith. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

A: Command-question-guy is back. We love you, sir.

Za’Darius Smith. Vikings fans already know Danielle Hunter “will do his thing,” but the Smith addition is a grand mystery. He turns 30 this week, so Week 1 will be the first step to determine if Smith, an ex-Packer, still has the juice.

And the Vikings beat Aaron Rodgers when they sack him. Plain and simple. If Minnesota has a day sans pocket pressure, the Packers will win. That’s how Vikings-Packers works when Rodgers is the QB1.

A motivated, revenge-minded Smith could along swing the game.

Q: What is a reasonable statline prediction for Irv Smith in 2022?

Jan 3, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

A: We’ll say 60 receptions for 750 yards and seven touchdowns.

The Vikings have “too many” mouths to feed on offense, making it unlikely that Smith posts Travis Kelce-like numbers. If Smith can tabulate the aforementioned stats, he’ll be back in Minnesota for Year 5. Yes, it’s already Smith’s contract year.

Smith merely needs to stay healthy. If he does, Kirk Cousins will find him in the middle of the field. Jot us down for a big year — but not an All-Pro-type campaign.


Q: Now that Mitchell Trubisky has been named the Steelers starter, how long before Kenny Pickett takes the throne?

Dec 26, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports.

A: Foremost, this is the best situation Trubisky has ever seen as a starter.

The Steelers will actually win games with Trubisky in charge. Their offensive line stinks, but Trubisky is adept at moving around. We predict he’ll encounter a minor injury sometime in 2022, and Pickett will never return the job.

It’s also a little strange that Pittsburgh won’t rip the Band-Aid off. Pickett had a tremendous preseason.


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