Vikings Due for a Big Game from One Man

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Monday Night Football is on the horizon for the Minnesota Vikings. The task at hand is a divisional game against the Chicago Bears — a team the Vikings have already beaten on enemy territory this season.

Vikings Due for a Big Game from One Man

The Vikings need a win to solidify their playoff hopes after a stuttering performance on offense in last week’s loss to the Broncos. The Vikings are due a big game from Jordan Addison, which could be critical in the Vikings’ chances of success.

The rookie wide receiver has been a consistent performer this season. Addison has 48 receptions for 647 yards and seven touchdowns. He sits with the third most receiving yards among rookies and the third most touchdown catches across the league among all players. Addison’s performances so far saw him named to the CBS mid-season All-Rookie team. He has done it through consistently good numbers rather than the occasional huge, eye-catching game. 

due for a big game
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) does a Lambeau Leap with Vikings fans Craig Lindsay, Nick Johnso,n and Chris Gangl against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, October 29, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The Vikings won the game, 24-10. © Tork Mason / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The exception was a stunning performance against San Francisco, where he had seven catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns. So far, that is Addison’s only 100-yard game and only game with multiple touchdowns. The fact it came in a win against the 49ers, one of the best teams and best defenses in the league, made it even more impressive. Minnesota would have hoped for more, especially during this stretch of games with Justin Jefferson out injured.

Jefferson has been playing his mentor role to Addison, something he spoke about this week. “I said it when he first got here, I wanted to be that Adam Thielen role like he was for me. Whatever he needs, on and off the field, I am there for him.”

Addison would probably enjoy seeing Jefferson back on the field and taking some of the heat off of him. When Jefferson returns, the rookie will see more space and less of the opposition’s top CB.

Missing Kirk Cousins

Addison caught the eye with seven touchdowns in his first eight games. However, his last touchdown catch came in the Week 8 win over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. That was the last game that Minnesota had Kirk Cousins at quarterback. The Vikings lost QB1 to a season-ending Achilles injury in Green Bay, and Addison’s touchdowns have dried up. Through a small sample of Jaren Hall and the best part of three games of Joshua Dobbs, Addison has yet to find the endzone.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) celebrates a first down reception against Green Bay Packers safety Rudy Ford (20) and cornerback Keisean Nixon (25) during their football game Sunday, October 29, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin.

Dobbs is not the accurate passer that Cousins is, nor is his arm as strong, which lessens the deep ball threat for the Vikings — an area of strength for Addison early in the season. Addison has still been a key figure for the Vikings’ offense, with 12 catches for 165 yards over the last three games. Dobbs provides athleticism and excitement to the QB position that the Vikings aren’t used to. However, the passing game isn’t as well-drilled and efficient as it was with Cousins under center. 

Addison vs. Bears

Dobbs has shown he can succeed in the Vikings system, but the game plan changes to get the best out of him. He is unlikely to have the consistent 350+ passing yard games that Cousins was capable of — his tally of 268 yards for the Vikings against the Saints is his career best. A big game from Addison would be the best way for Dobbs to pass that 268 figure until Jefferson gets back on the field.

Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports.

Addison didn’t have a great night in Chicago in the reverse fixture earlier in the season. He only caught three of his five targets for 28 yards in the first game the Vikings played without Jefferson. He turned those three catches into a touchdown and two first downs, providing a pivotal contribution in a low-scoring game — 19-13 Vikings. With Jefferson questionable and possibly missing another game this week, the Vikings will look for another pivotal contribution from their rookie.

Whether it’s yards or touchdowns, the Vikings are due a big game from Addison. Monday Night Football in front of the primetime cameras would be an optimal time for the rookie to deliver.