Vikings Can Set a Season-High on Sunday

K.J. Osborn
Jan 3, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) reaches for the goalline before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings need to find a way to win against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, and dropping to 0-3 shouldn’t be in the equation. If they are going to accomplish that goal, putting up points in droves is a good plan of attack. Setting a season high this early could be accomplished as well.

Vikings Can Set a Season-High on Sunday

Through the first two weeks of the season, Kevin O’Connell’s Minnesota Vikings have not played a complete game. Between the unnecessary turnovers, inconsistent defensive effort, and non-existent running attack, there is plenty to be desired from this squad. Thankfully, and even facing a talented quarterback in Justin Herbert, the Los Angeles Chargers present an opportunity to right the ship.

Can Set a Season
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

It’s not just that the Vikings could come out with a win at home against the Chargers on Sunday, though. Beyond adding a “one” to the win column, they could also put up a point total that may be the highest mark they achieve all year.

In 2022, the Vikings scored 39 points against the Indianapolis Colts during a Week 15 matchup, which was the greatest comeback in NFL history. After getting wholly shellacked for the entirety of the first half, they showed up in a big way during the final two quarters and grabbed a victory from the jaws of defeat.

Against the Colts, Kirk Cousins threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns. The ground game produced 92 yards on 24 attempts. It was the fourth time in the season that Minnesota had surpassed the 30-point mark, but it did take some extra time. Week 8, during the Arizona Cardinals, saw O’Connell’s club put up 34 points in regulation, which was the second-highest output of the year.

Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws for a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports.

Los Angeles has allowed 36 and 27 points through the season’s first two weeks, respectively. The Miami Dolphins were responsible for the high score and brought a very similar style to the Vikings. Tyreek Hill popped off for more than 200 receiving yards in that game, and he might be the best wide receiver in the league not named Justin Jefferson.

Alexander Mattison has struggled to establish any sort of ground presence early on this season, and now his role is being shared with the recently acquired Cam Akers. Maybe Dalton Risner helps to open up the middle of the field more on the interior line, but that’s all probably a process that takes some time to establish. In short, the Vikings should be expected to air it out against a terrible Chargers secondary this weekend.

Sep 18, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (3) carries the ball for a first down before he is forced out of bounds by Atlanta Falcons safety Erik Harris (23) in the first half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

If Cousins can find Jefferson and friends early and often, the Vikings have an opportunity to give the scoreboard a workout. T.J. Hockenson and Jordan Addison continue to represent high-level alternative options alongside Jefferson, and Hockenson is unquestionably the best tight end Los Angeles will have had to defend all season. Maybe Minnesota looks to take some air out of the ball if they get ahead, but there should be no shortage of opportunities to score.

A year ago, the Vikings didn’t top 30 points until Week 8. They found themselves close in Weeks 3-through-5, but it took longer to actually get the job done. Setting the presence early this year could do wonders for the offense, and a confidence-building win can reset a slow start in the otherwise lackluster NFC North.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.