Snap Reactions the Day after Vikings-Lions
From a suggestion by a reader, we debut a “snap reactions” weekly piece detailing thoughts and analysis the day after a Minnesota Vikings game.
This will be off-the-cuff, a wee bit “random,” and hopefully insightful.
- The Vikings pushed the “a win’s a win” slogan to the brink of legitmacy against the Detroit Lions. Indeed, they needed to exit U.S. Bank Stadium with a 2-3 record, setting sights on the Carolina Panthers in Week 6. But how they won was the least satisfying method imaginable. Eeking out a victory over an 0-4 team at home leaves fans with “I guess…” feelings.
- Offensive conservatism only really worked for the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. Like, ever. It doesn’t work for average defenses that were good a few years ago. And the Vikings offense was hitting on most cylinders as recently as three weeks ago in Arizona. What the hell happened to the playcalling?
- If you believe Mike Zimmer and Kirk Cousins were closer to a fight than an honest-to-goodness celebration at the end of the game — respectfully, you need to reevaluate your opinion.
- Slowly and quietly, Minnesota’s defense is jelling. They’ve allowed the ninth-fewest points through five games while showcasing the sixth-best defensive group per Pro Football Focus. It just doesn’t feel like it sometimes.
- Even if Christian Darrisaw stunk yesterday — he didn’t — he should receive the bulk of LT1 snaps hereafter. If healthy, it is time for the 1st-Rounder to show if he’s the real deal. His bottom floor is likely akin to Rashod Hill’s current performance. He will learn nothing watching from afar as a traditionally bad offensive line does traditonally bad things. Darrisaw was drafted to help improve the trenches. Let the man help.
- We’re due for a K.J. Osborn resurgence game. The Vikings WR3 displayed his toolkit in the first few weeks before Minnesota embraced offensive conservativism. Let Kirk Cousins throw, allow Osborn to profit.
- Patrick Peterson improves within Zimmer’s system each game. If the Vikings can make this season a worthwhile one — by, you know, merging the productive version of the offense with the recent defense — the Peterson move will pay off when it’s needed most.
- Cousins led a game-winning drive, and the kicker drilled a game-winning field goal — both items salivated over by Vikings fans for years. Somehow, the win was still a humongous meh. Stranger gridiron things couldn’t be scripted in screenplays.
- Remember, Minnesota was without Michael Pierce and Cameron Dantzler on Sunday. Those two men should vastly improve on an already-good defensive showing from Week 5.
- While you’re reading this, a pivotal moment in Vikings history awaits. The team can rally around the Joseph moment, capitalizing on the momentum of a squeaky triumph. Or — this win over Detroit can be a true indicator the team simply isn’t very good. If it’s the latter, we’re in the final months of Mike Zimmer’s tenure.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).