Once again, the Minnesota Vikings came off yet another one-possession game, this time against the Cardinals, and once again, they won. They’re 6-1 and have won five straight one-possession games. Dalvin Cook had his best game of the season, logging in 20 carries for 111 yards, five receptions for 30 yards, and one rushing touchdown. The offense is starting to be more polished, as Kirk had a solid passing game with 24 passes for 232 yards and two passing touchdowns, and the offense also ran 29 times for 173 yards, averaging just about 6 yards per carry.
So now the looming question: is the offense clicking at the right time? While the offensive statistics for this team are around average (15th in total yards), it’s fair to say Kevin O’Connell’s scheme is settling in the offense and becoming more fluid. The offense was productive against the Cardinals, as they notched 381 total yards. But the next five games will determine if the offense is worth the hype as they face the Commanders, Bills, Cowboys, Patriots, and Jets. These five teams are either .500 or above with above-average defenses, so the Vikings’ offense will get its chance to prove whether or not they can be an elite offense.
The addition of T.J Hockenson should help with this cause. Having a versatile tight end like T.J Hockenson should theoretically aid Minnesota in relieving the pressure on the wide receivers. But his role will take time to accumulate. Kirk has been targeting Adam Thielen more often since week two, but Jefferson still takes a lot of the attention, respectively. The outside zone run scheme seems to be working, as the offense averages 4.6 yards per carry, but they’ll need both the pass and the run to click if they want to score on these defenses.
Overall, the offense needs consistency more than anything if Minnesota wants the league to know what kind of team they are. The defense has been making clutch plays and forcing turnovers at crucial times, which allows the offense to score with good field position. They capitalized on those opportunities against Arizona, but they’ll have to do it consistently if they want to win against their next opponents.