The Most Exciting Part about the Vikings for Week 1

Sep 24, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings fans in the third quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

In less than three days, the Minnesota Vikings will begin to prove their 2022 success a 13-4 record and NFC North crown was not a fluke.

The Most Exciting Part about the Vikings for Week 1

All offseason, NFL-themed media has claimed Minnesota’s unforeseen 13-4 record was an accident and that the club will return to earth in 2023. That’s why sportsbooks peg the Vikings for 8.5 wins.

Most Exciting Part
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings fans cheer during the second quarter of a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

And when the party gets started on Sunday at noon CST, the most exciting part about the Vikings Week 1 tryst involves a newcomer wide receiver Jordan Addison.

Here’s why.

Jeffersons and Treadwells

Cowboys Work Out
Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Laquon Treadwell (Mississippi) after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings as the number twenty-three overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings have an unbelievably rich history with organically drafted wide receivers. Randy Moss, Justin Jefferson, Stefon Diggs, Percy Harvin, and others can attest.

In the last two decades, however, a couple of flops entered the chat, including Troy Williamson in 2005 and Laquon Treadwell in 2016. Which begs the question where does Addison, whose draft profile wasn’t much different per esteem than Treadwell’s or Williamson’s, live on the continuum?

He could inhabit “the middle,” a productive receiver who doesn’t take the world by its tail like Jefferson in 2020. You know, just a decent football player. Or he could blossom into a Jeffersonian asset. And then the doomsday outcome — he’s a Treadwell.

Of course, Sunday won’t dictate Addison’s future on the whole, but folks will begin to see what he’s made of. If he grabs a few catches Jefferson only grabbed two in his first game as a pro the Treadwell verdict is severely unlikely.

Is the Vikings Front Office Vindicated?

Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; USC wide receiver Jordan Addison with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings twenty-third overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Listen, Minnesota didn’t need a wide receiver in the 2023 NFL Draft. It employed Jefferson, K.J. Osborn, Jalen Nailor, plus tight ends T.J. Hockenson and Josh Oliver. That’s probably enough for a regular NFL offense.

Moreover, the Vikings defense ranked 30th per points allowed last year, and its sins were on display in the playoffs eight months ago when the purple team lost at home to the New York Giants. The draft-need ledger screamed “defensive player” and, more clearly, probably a cornerback.

But general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah figuratively said, “Nope. We do offense in these parts.”

Fans did not lament the Addison draft pick; Vikings loyalists rarely decry WR draft choices. So, now, if Addison arrives at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday and looks like a 1st-Rounder, well, Adofo-Mensah will be vindicated.

Addison Sets the Table

6 Winners from
Aug 5, 2023; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) takes the field during training camp at Twin Cities Orthopedic Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Addison has created some excitement, too, with his words this week.

“This is game week, so we’re starting to handle business. The best part is we get to go out there and show what we’ve been working for,” the young playmaker said on Labor Day.

“All I’ve got to do is make sure I win my 1-on-1 and catch the ball. You’re going to see what’s in the game plan. I don’t want to put any numbers out there. I want to make sure I’m making successful plays for my team to make sure we come out with this dub,” Addison added.

That sure sounds like a guy who’s about to make a thumbprint on his first career NFL game.

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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