Analysis

Monday Impressions: Vikings End With a Win, But Roster Needs Work

The game was meaningless, but perhaps it was still a good thing that the Minnesota Vikings won. Losing to the Lions is never fun. In any case, the Vikings now head into the offseason with plenty of work to do on their roster. Yesterday’s game against the Lions provided Minnesota’s coaches with their final chance to assess the roster’s various strengths and weaknesses.

Offense

  1. Kirk Cousins played really well yesterday. Keep in mind that he began the game 2/7 for 20 yards. It looked like one of those games. Credit to Cousins for battling and getting the offense on track, especially since they were missing Riley Reiff and Dalvin Cook.
  2. Justin Jefferson broke the record for most receiving yards by a rookie receiver. He finished with 1400 yards. This is good for fourth overall in the NFL. Keep in mind that everyone else in the top-5 for receiving yards has more than 100 catches. With less opportunity, Jefferson still produces on par with other elite receivers.
  3. Chad Beebe had The Mini Miracle. It meant far less than Stefon Diggs‘ touchdown, but it was pretty reminiscent of that play. Mike Zimmer even admitted it reminded him of the Minneapolis Miracle in his post game press conference.
  4. Eight different players caught a pass yesterday. Six went for more than 40 yards receiving. The Vikings’ offense should always be this balanced.
  5. Offensive guard. It’s a top priority. Make it happen, Spielman.

Defense

  1. Mike Zimmer admitted that the team wasn’t good enough to get into the postseason. He did discuss the various circumstances that led to their 7-9 record, saying that perhaps it’s the best they could have done.
  2. This team desperately needs help along the defensive line. Keep in mind that the sack leader for the Vikings is still Yannick Ngakoue, who was traded around the bye. Danielle Hunter had 14.5 sacks the last season he played. No lineman on the roster has more than 3.
  3. Todd Davis is a strong option as a run-first linebacker. The Vikings likely won’t be able to retain Eric Wilson, but they should look to move forward with Davis and then perhaps Troy Dye as the team’s #3 and #4 LB.
  4. Next season, Cameron Dantzler and Jeff Gladney will likely be the top two corners. The Vikings chose not to add any veteran depth to their secondary during the offseason, and it’s easy to look at that now as a mistake. Perhaps adding a veteran or two would really improve this group. The only thing we’ll say about the veterans in the secondary is that Harrison Smith needs more help.
  5. D.J. Wonnum is going to be good. Once he refines his pass rush moves, Wonnum will be a force. He shows up in run defense, and his length is already creating some issues.

Special Teams

  1. My Dan Bailey prediction: he isn’t cut but gets restructured, making him easier to cut. The Vikings then bring in competition in the offseason and have a true training camp battle. Bailey’s best year with Minnesota came when Spielman brought in Kaare Vedvik. Bailey responded then; hopefully he will respond in the future.
  2. Marwan Maalouf seems like a great guy, and he is one who I’m cheering for. Unfortunately, it just hasn’t worked out in Minnesota. It’s time to move on.

This article originally appeared on one of our partner sites: VikingsGazette.com. Check out The Vikings Gazette and follow them on Twitter for more exclusive Minnesota Vikings content and analysis!

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K. Joudry

I started cheering for the Vikings in high school because of Kevin and Pat Williams. I've stuck with them since then. I live in Canada with my wife and two dogs.

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MilesC
MilesC
19 days ago

Wonnum and Hunter at the Edges, Pierce and first round pick in the middle could be pretty sweet.

Fred McLean
Fred McLean
19 days ago

I thought Wilson was an rfa?

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