Minnesota Vikings: Week 4 Boom or Bust

Week 3 boom: Cameron Dantzler – MISS
Week 3 bust: Chandon Sullivan – MEH

In common fashion, the Minnesota Vikings have displayed plenty of highs and lows so far into the season. The Vikings look for consistency as they travel to London to play the New Orleans Saints. Yet it seems as if no Viking has been consistent through three weeks, making this week’s predictions very challenging. Here are a couple which seem likely to occur.

Boom: Dalvin Tomlinson
Dalvin Tomlinson has quietly had a very good start to the season for the Vikings. He does not jump off the screen, but fills his role perfectly in this Vikings defense. Tomlinson should see more production this week against a mightily struggling Saints’ offensive line. In particular, it has been the Saints’ interior offensive line which has been tormented by opposing fronts. The Saints rank in the bottom five in sacks allowed, meaning Tomlinson should be able to force the issue in the passing game. The Saints also rank in the bottom five in total rushing attempts, implying that Tomlinson and the rest of the Vikings defensive line will see plenty of opportunities to rush the passer. Following a game against the Detroit Lions last week in which the Vikings failed to record a sack, the pass rush will be a focal point of preparation for the Saints. Tomlinson should be a key component of the interior pass rush, which should result in meaningful production.

Bust: Camryn Bynum
Although the Saints have not lived up to their pre-season hype, they have excelled in one area: downfield passing. New Orleans’ passing offense is tied for the league lead with 13 20+ yard plays and they rank third in 40+ yard plays with four. As shown in Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Vikings and particularly Camryn Bynum can struggle against deep passes. With Harrison Smith returning from injury, Josh Metellus impressing in Smith’s absence, and first round pick Lewis Cine awaiting, Bynum’s role could certainly diminish if he fails to provide stability in the back end. Jameis Winston has shown no hesitancy to throw downfield, which should not change in a different country this week. Bynum must step up if he wants to ensure a long term starting role in Minnesota.
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