5 Reasons for Vikings Fans to be Thankful at Christmas
Merry Christmas, valued reader! Amidst all the craziness of the holidays, some of you will inevitably find your way to some Vikings reading. As a result, I decided to put forth a humble list of 5 reasons for Vikings fans to be thankful.
Feel free to let me know if there are any others that you think of over on Twitter. In the meantime, enjoy the list (and your Christmas!).
Christmas 2022: 5 Reasons for Vikings Fans to be Thankful
1) A Young, Promising Head Coach
Kevin O’Connell hasn’t been perfect. I’ve questioned some of his decisions. At times, I think he has gotten too cute, outsmarting himself in the pursuit of excellence (the failed Cook TD pass comes to mind, especially since it was on a first down).
Nevertheless, it’d be hard to be overly critical with O’Connell. His side of the ball was a top-10 group heading into the Giants game and he is helping push his WR1 to historically-great production. He has helped his team to a division title for the first time since 2017 and his players seem to love him.
2) A Truly Elite Pair of Offensive Cornerstones
Justin Jefferson is 23; so is Christian Darrisaw. Both are elite players at two of the preeminent positions on offense. After QB, WR and LT are probably the two most important spots in today’s NFL offense. It’s plausible that Jefferson and Darrisaw provide incredible play at those two positions for all of the 2020s.
Going into Week 16, Jefferson came in as the 3rd-best receiver on PFF. Darrisaw, not to be outdone, came in at 2nd among tackles. PFF grades aren’t the only way of measuring a player’s performance, but they do add further credence to what we already know: the two young guys are already top-tier. The wild thing is they may still be getting better.
3) A Clutch QB Overcoming the Doubt
Somehow, Kirk Cousins has put together a remarkable 7 game-winning drives in 2022. Heading into the Giants game, that meant a full 50% of Minnesota’s games featured Cousins putting together a game-winning drive. Sensational stuff.
Christmas, at least to my mind, ought to be a time of peace and unity. As a result, I’m not going to travel too far down the Cousins path; it’s a perilous route that features plenty of squabbling and disagreement. Instead, I’ll merely articulate my personal belief that Cousins has played excellently in 2022.
I’ve been thankful he is Minnesota’s QB.
4) An Aggressive GM Unafraid of Outside Opinion
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has traded a ton as a first-year GM.
If I’m being perfectly honest, I still don’t love the draft-day trade with the Lions. What I do love, though, is his willingness to stick to his guns and follow through on his convictions. He believed the deal was the right move and he went for it. And, in the end, what do I know? As I’ve proven repeatedly, very little.
Being an NFL GM isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a demanding job, one full of insane pressure and criticism. Nevertheless, I’ll send along my Christmas thanks for Adofo-Mensah for doing a nice job in Year 1 on the job.
5) An NFC North Title
The Week 16 game didn’t matter for this one. Minnesota had accomplished enough to lock-in the North.
As a result, the great fans of Minnesota will pack into U.S. Bank Stadium in the opening round of the playoffs. The gjallarhorn and skol chant can hopefully propel the Vikings toward a RD1 victory. Even better would be a RD2 victory at U.S. Bank, but we’ll see what happens.
Regardless, winning the division comes with plenty of satisfaction. The Packers’ reign of terror has been stymied; there’s a new King of the North. If that doesn’t make your Christmas more merry, I don’t know what will.
Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on PurplePTSD.
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