Explained: State of the Vikings thru 9 Weeks

Explained: State of the Vikings thru 9 Weeks
Aug 27, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

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This is Episode 158 of VikesNow, a YouTube channel devoted to daily Minnesota Vikings analysis. This examines the state of the Vikings through eight games.

Particularly, the Commanders win and a preview of Bills-Vikings are discussed.

Email any feedback — especially constructive criticism — to DustinBakerNFL@gmail.com.


The Vikings knocked off the Washington Commanders in Week 9, 20-17, courtesy of late-game heroics authored by Kirk Cousins, the Vikings defense, and Kevin O’Connell’s adept coaching. O’Connell’s men circumvented a 10-point lead in the 4th Quarter at a time when some Vikings fans chalked up the afternoon to “one of those games.” And not in a good way.

Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Commanders wide receiver Curtis Samuel (10) makes a touchdown reception between Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) and safety Camryn Bynum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports.

Wide receiver Justin Jefferson recorded 7 catches, 115 receiving yards, and 1 touchdown in a game where the phenom playmaker also experienced uncharacteristic trouble with 50-50 balls. Dalvin Cook fired up an impressive receiving touchdown to help claw the Vikings back into Week 9.

The Vikings are four-point road underdogs against the Buffalo Bills in Week 10, a team that lost to the New York Jets on Sunday. Josh Allen injured his elbow, and his status against Minnesota is seriously in doubt. If he does not play, it will become the Case Keenum show.

The Green Bay Packers also dropped a fifth game in a row, sinking Aaron Rodgers’ team to 3-6, with an unholy 4.5-game deficit in the NFC North to Minnesota. The Vikings are the No. 2 seed in the NFC behind the Philadelphia Eagles and would host a home playoff game versus the San Francisco 49ers if the playoffs started today.

Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Ed Donatell’s defense executed its best game of 2022, finally shedding the “bend but don’t break” philosophy. Minnesota’s defensive output was flat-out good in Washington.

A 3-6 record the rest of the way would plop the Vikings in the postseason. Of course, winning the division is preferred, but subpar football, as a worst-case scenario, would net a playoff berth. That’s the perk of a 7-1 start. The Vikings have a 99% probability of reaching the postseason, per FiveThirtyEight.

Minnesota will see Stefon Diggs for the first time as an opponent, while Viking nose tackle Harrison Phillips returns to face his former team after leaving in free agency eight months ago.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. 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).