Vikings Finally Got Jordan Addison Going Again

Back at Jordan
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Saturday’s game in Cincinnati ultimately ended in disappointment. However, for the first time in weeks, the Vikings offense looked a genuine threat throughout the game.

A returning Justin Jefferson certainly helped, and Nick Mullens competently ran the Vikings offense outside of two costly interceptions. Another major factor was the Vikings finally got Jordan Addison going again. No player on offense has suffered more than Addison since Kirk Cousins season ended with an injury, but Saturday saw a return of the rookie WR at his best.

Vikings Finally Got Jordan Addison Going Again

Jordan Addison
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) catches a touchdown pass to take the lead late in the fourth quarter of the NFL Week 15 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Minnesota Vikings at PayCor Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023. The Bengals won on an overtime field goal.

Minnesota started their fourth different QB this season on Saturday. Nothing suggests offensive turmoil more than that fact. The lack of consistency at the QB position had a negative impact on Addison’s production, and the Vikings passing game as a whole dropped off dramatically. The Joshua Dobbs experiment ended and the Vikings went with the man who orchestrated the field goal attempt that allowed the Vikings to win in Vegas the previous week. 

Fans were treated to an all-to-brief Jefferson appearance in Vegas when a big hit sent him to the turf following a hospital pass – literally – from Dobbs. The Vikings needed a QB to get the best out of their star receivers and it was no surprise when Mullens was named the starter and he successfully got the Vikings playmakers involved in Cincinnati – Jefferson had seven catches for 84 yards on the day and T.J. Hockenson had six catches for 63 yards.

It was Addison, though, who led the Vikings in receiving yards and touchdowns. The rookie caught all six of his targets for 111 yards and two touchdowns. It was a hugely impressive day for the young Vikings receiver. The Vikings offense was built to be centered around the passing game, and Dobbs just couldn’t deliver in that aspect.

Addison’s Post-Cousins Struggles

Rookies Fetch ESPN
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports.

Addison had a chance of being the offensive rookie of the year if he continued his performances catching passes from Cousins. Addison caught 36 of 52 targets for 482 yards and seven touchdowns with Cousins. In their last two games together with Addison as WR1 in Jefferson’s absence, they connected 205 yards and three touchdowns including a huge performance on Monday Night Football against one of the best defenses in football. Addison caught 7 of 10 targets for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns that night against the 49ers.

There was no time to develop any chemistry with Hall, Addison had one catch for 0 yards during the rookies short run. It started okay with Dobbs, with Addison going past 50 yards in his first two games. However, after the best part of five games Addison’s stats with Dobbs stood at 18 receptions from 32 targets for 211 yards and no touchdowns. The drop-off was significant and Mullens showed an early sign of being able to unlock Addison with 20 yards from one target and catch against the Raiders. Addison’s big day in Cincinnati proved Mullens was the right choice to at least give the Vikings passing game a spark.

Expect the Mullens/Addison Connection To Continue

Jefferson Has Starting
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens (12) changes the play at the line of scrimmage prior to a snap in the first quarter of a Week 15 NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Cincinnati Bengals, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. © Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK.

With three games left on the schedule, Addison has an impressive 62 catches for 824 yards and 9 touchdowns. As frustrating as the two turnovers and the result was, Mullens did enough to be starting again when the Vikings host the Lions on Christmas Eve. Mullens’ ability to feed the ball to Jefferson, Addison, and Hockenson, alongside Ty Chandler making hay with a 100-yard game on the ground saw the Vikings offense look balanced and effective If the Vikings can avoid the costly mistakes that have plagued them this season. They are a team that can compete and win games against anyone.

Despite the loss, nothing has changed for Minnesota as we head into Week 16. The Vikings still sit in the 6th seed in the NFC wild-card race and can win the division if they win out and Detroit loses to the Cowboys in Week 17.

With three divisional games left (Detroit x2 and Green Bay) the Vikings still have their playoff destiny in their own hands, and that is as much as anyone can ask for. More big games from Addison would certainly help the Vikings reach their playoff goal and there should be confidence he can do that with Mullens.

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