The Vikings Top Offensive Performers vs. Cardinals, per PFF

Pounding the Rock Is Recipe vs. DAL
Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) and offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings topped the Arizona Cardinals in Week 8, 34-26, in a game featuring a squandered 11-point lead but ultimately no catastrophe.

The win was one of the Vikings most consistent from cover to cover in 2022, as Kevin O’Connell’s offense finally woke up in the 3rd Quarter. Before Week 8, the Vikings hadn’t scored a 3rd Quarter touchdown in 2022 but fired up two versus Arizona.

Ultimately, the Vikings survived the Cardinals, etching a record of 6-1 through eight weeks, now sitting alone at the top of the NFC North because the Green Bay Packers have lost four straight games to the New York Giants, New York Jets, Washington Commanders, and Buffalo Bills.

On offense, these were the top performers per Pro Football Focus:

  1. Christian Darrisaw (91.7)
  2. Alexander Mattison (81.6)
  3. Ezra Cleveland (79.5)
  4. Justin Jefferson (70.0)
  5. Dalvin Cook (70.3)
Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Christian Darrisaw and Ezra Cleveland gracing the Top 5 continues to excite Vikings fans, as the franchise hasn’t fielded a competent pass-protecting offensive line for over a decade. Week in and week out, Minnesota offensive trenches keep impressing, vivifying sustainability that many Vikings enthusiasts didn’t believe possible. For Darrisaw, he’s suddenly the third-best offensive tackle in all of football, according to PFF.

Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison sliced and diced a lowly Cardinals run defense, setting the tone for Minnesota’s offensive plans in Week 8 while uplifting balance via playcalling. The 2022 Vikings are unabashedly a pass-first team, but the group is at its best when Cook and Mattison are pounding the opposition. The two combined for 151 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns.

Finally, Justin Jefferson has become a mainstay in these weekly Vikings Top-5 articles. He accounted for 98 receiving yards on 6 receptions, and just like last week, it felt like a quiet day at the office for the third-year phenom.

Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell congratulates tight end Johnny Mundt. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Even in victory, “the bad” must be highlighted, so these were the worst performers on offense:

3. Johnny Mundt (59.8)
2. K.J. Osborn (55.2)
1. Ed Ingram (41.7)

The Vikings travel to Washington for a date with the suddenly hot Commanders. Kirk Cousins will play in his first game as a visitor at FedEx Field, while former Vikings quarterback Taylor Heinicke will be at the helm for Washington. Minnesota has won four of its last six games at Washington since 2006.



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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).