When the Minnesota Vikings “win ugly,” as they did against the Kansas City Chiefs last week, I find myself feeling worse than if they had lost a hard-fought game against an opponent like the Denver Broncos. Sure, their record improved to 3-2 after the 16-10 victory, but they looked average at best holding off a Chiefs team that shouldn’t have had a chance at TCF Bank Stadium.
At least in their Week 4 loss to the Broncos, the Vikings were competitive and looked like a playoff team, forcing two Peyton Manning interceptions and challenging the league’s best secondary through the air. I was encouraged by their losing effort, and turned the game off feeling optimistic about the team’s future. Once the Chiefs game ended, I was less enthused by a team that made far too many mistakes against Alex Smith and the rest of Andy Reid’s 1-5 squad.
Before I get too pessimistic, though, there’s plenty of positives to take away from the game. For one, rookies stepped up in a big way, from wide receiver Stefon Diggs to middle linebacker Eric Kendricks. Without Everson Griffen on the defensive line, even Danielle Hunter made the most of his opportunity, forcing a fumble and recording half a sack.
After the jump, I’ll take a look at a few of the Vikings’ strengths and how those plus plays led to a win last week.