3 Vikings Players to Watch vs. Bills
The Minnesota Vikings (7-1) travel to Orchard Park to take on the Buffalo Bills (6-2) in Week 10, one of the top matchups of the week.
The Vikings search for their seventh straight victory against one of the best teams in the league. If they are to come home victorious, here are 3 Vikings players to watch who I believe will need to have a big game.
The most points the Vikings have conceded to the opposition this season is 26, which was in a winning cause against the Arizona Cardinals.
For the most part, the defense has kept the score down, meaning the offense blowing hot and cold hasn’t been a significant issue. Against this Bills team (with or without Josh Allen), the Vikings offense needs to be on top form in all four quarters. The Vikings have plenty of firepower on their offense, but there is no doubt who the main man is. Justin Jefferson. Just like Steffon Diggs is for the Bills.
Those two players will always have their careers compared due to the 2020 trade that saw Diggs leave Minnesota for Buffalo in return for a first-round pick (plus others) that the Vikings used to draft Jefferson. This game will be the first time the two players play against each other, providing a fascinating subplot.
Justin Jefferson needs one more 100-yard game to surpass Randy Moss and Odell Beckham Jnr for the most 100-yard game in a player’s first three seasons. Twenty is the magic number; all three are tied at 19 at this time. It would be the latest in an ever-growing list for the Vikings star wide-out.
Christian Darrisaw is making a solid case for being the Vikings best player. According to Pro Football Focus, he already is — with an overall grade of 89.1. He is comfortably the highest-graded player on the Vikings roster. After a rookie season that started late and was further interrupted by injury, the hope was that Darrisaw would push on from the potential he showed when he was on the field. He has certainly done that.
This season he has played in 534 offense snaps, only allowing 10 total pressures, 3 hits, and not allowing a single sack. He also hasn’t given away a single penalty. It has almost been perfection from Darrisaw. This week he comes up against an elite veteran pass rusher in the shape of Von Miller. He might be 33 years of age, but Miller is still one of the best around and represents a challenge for Darrisaw. The way the Vikings left tackle has been playing, confidence should be high that he will answer the call.
It promises to be a big day for the Vikings fourth-round rookie cornerback. Starting corner Cameron Dantzler will surely miss this week’s game and maybe even more. That has opened the door for Akayleb Evans, next in line, ahead of second-round rookie Andrew Booth. Having already surpassed the guy drafted two rounds ahead of him shows a lot about Evans’ character and ability. It also shows the value of remaining healthy — something Booth has struggled with so far in his Vikings career.
The Vikings coaching staff trusted Evans to be the next man up, and he repaid that faith last week.
After Dantzler was ruled out of the second half against Washington, Evans stepped up in a big way. He tallied 7 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and the vital pass deflection on 4th down when covering Terry McLaurin. The former Missouri Tiger now has the chance to prove his capability to maintain that standard of play over a more extended period. If he does, he will make it difficult for Dantzler to take his place back — great news for the Vikings, as the depth at cornerback has been a significant question mark as we’ve waited for the rookies to break out.
Evans gets the first big chance.