One Viking Had a Vanishing Act, and It Didn’t Matter.

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The Minnesota Vikings took care of business on the road in Week 4, surviving a bout with the winless Carolina Panthers 21-13.

One Viking Had a Vanishing Act, and It Didn’t Matter.

Minnesota’s defense arrived after two games of doldrums, forcing sacks and turnovers while scampering for a 51-yard fumble return touchdown, courtesy of outside linebacker D.J. Wonnum on a ball jarred loose by Harrison Smith.

Interestingly, the Vikings escaped Charlotte with a victory without a significant contribution from rookie wideout Jordan Addison. For a game, the man vanished offense, and it somehow didn’t matter.

Had a Vanishing Act
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Addison played 28 offensive snaps, or 58%, failed to secure a reception, and was targeted just once by Vikings signal-caller Kirk Cousins.

Sunday’s game was the first shutout of Addison’s young career, previously banking at least 3 receptions for 50+ yards in each of his first three games. He also scored two touchdowns in his first two games but hasn’t hit paydirt since Week 2.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Addison missed a key would-be block early versus the Panthers on a play designed for Justin Jefferson, causing the NFL’s reigning Offensive Player of the Year to get walloped by Carolina’s defense and temporarily leave the game. After the mini-gaffe by Addison, it almost seemed like Minnesota was done with Addison for the day.

Still, the Vikings held on in a desperation game on the road. The team’s losses negated Addison’s robust production in games 1-3, and in fact, Addison was rapidly morphing into one of the team’s only bright spots through three weeks. Then on Sunday, roles reversed — Addison had no meaningful impact, but the team found a victory.

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Similarly, the aforementioned Cousins encountered a slow day by his standard, tossing two head-scratcher interceptions to Panthers defenders, one that was even taken to the house for six points by Sam Franklin Jr. from 99 yards away. Before Week 4, Cousins performed wonderfully in three losses. Against the Panthers, Cousins fired up his first blah game of the season — like Addison — but Minnesota won anyway.

Next up for Minnesota? It’s the truest test of a team’s mettle, the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Vikings may not be able to get away with a quiet game by Addison and Cousins if they hope to shock the Chiefs at U.S. Bank Stadium this Sunday.

One Viking Oddly
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The Chiefs are favored by 5.5 points to defeat Minnesota in Week 5.

Addison currently holds +2500 odds to win the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award, the seventh-best odds as of October 1st.

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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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