Starting the season 4-1 is pretty much a dream for Vikings fans, especially as their only loss coming to the only unbeaten team. They have found themselves in countless close games, but they have found a way to win. Some of these struggles and problems might not bode well against the tougher part of our schedule. The Vikings winning 4 out of 5 to start gives them a sort of cushion.
How did they get here?
The Vikings have played some bad teams and made the games very interesting. After one of the most impressive halves I have seen from the Vikings in a long time. They proceeded to look lost and uninspired in the 2nd half. Letting the bears take the lead in a blink of an eye. Countless games have been close. This might just be what the team is at this point. Playing down to their opponent has been a trait this team has had for years. They are still learning a new scheme but how much longer can it take? If they continue to play like this, then they will need big splash plays like the Dantzler strip fumble. Creating game changing plays will have to be there to go if they want to win ugly. However they go here is not important in the grand scheme of things, they don’t owe anything to anyone, they grinded out tough games and deserve the record of 4-1.
How can they improve?
There are many spots that they can improve in. The one that stands out to me the most is the other offensive weapons, Adam Thielen, K.J Osborn and Irv Smith need to get going. To win big games obviously Justin Jefferson needs to play great, but the supporting cast has to create separation and get open. On the defensive side, there needs to be a way to create more pressure. At least send 5 people on some plays, both Harrison Smith and Eric Kendricks are great blitzers but they have been underutilized. If they can send 5 then Za’darius and Danielle can rush one on one. With only sending 4, they are constantly getting doubled teamed.
They face the Dolphins this week on the road, a couple weeks ago you probably would’ve expected them to lose this game. However with both starting and backup QBs injured, the Vikings have a chance to steal a win before the bye. If they can position themselves at 5-1 going into the bye, they have created a scenario where it is okay to lose a couple games. After the bye they face a perplexing Cardinals team and then an awful Commanders team. If they can win all 3 of these games, or even 2 they position themselves nicely. After that they head to Buffalo to face a top 3 team in the NFL, however with a record of 6-2 or 7-1 they can afford to lose to a good team and still stay afloat. Then they have the Cowboys who will be another tough test. With Micah Parsons looking like the next Lawerence Taylor. If the Vikings can win the games they should and steal a game they shouldn’t win, then they are looking at a potential NFC North crown and a high seeded playoff spot.