12 Snap Reactions after Chiefs at Vikings

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

From a suggestion by a reader, we continue our “snap reactions” weekly piece this season detailing thoughts and analysis after a Minnesota Vikings game.

12 Snap Reactions after Chiefs at Vikings

This will be off-the-cuff, a wee bit “random,” and hopefully insightful.

The Vikings lost 27-20 in Week 5 to the Kansas City Chiefs at home, the club’s fourth consecutive loss at U.S. Bank Stadium. The season teeters on total futility at 1-4, with the suddenly hot Chicago Bears on deck at Soldier Field in Week 6.

after Chiefs
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1 – Comically, the Vikings fumbled the game’s first play — literally. Josh Oliver put the ball on the ground, Kansas City recovered, and nothing changed from the previous weeks. Every Vikings game in 2023 is the same. Minnesota turns the ball over on every first offensive possession, and it feels like onlookers are now being trolled by a bad inside joke. The margin of error to defeat the Chiefs is so slim that one turnover can ruin everything, especially if the defense forces no takeaways of its own. Wouldn’t you know it? The fumble on the first play turned out to be the difference in the game.

2 – At 1-4, Minnesota could theoretically go on some magical run, but five games of the same undoings are a large enough blueprint to indicate a pattern. It’s more likely that this brand of Vikings is a 6-11 team in the making than a 10-7 squad waiting to get hot.

3 – A new demon plagued the Vikings in wholesale fashion on Sunday — drops. Purple pass-catchers dropped about 7 passes in Week 5. A team cannot do that against the world champions and expect to win. Or anybody, for that matter.

Kirk Cousins Evidently
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

4 – Per playcalling percentage, Minnesota ran the ball just 27% of the time. No Vikings team will conduct a winning season until that mark is dragged closer to 40% or so.

5 – Surprisingly, the Vikings defense held up, to an extent, against Kansas City. Do you recall seeing any ginormous gains or plays from any Chiefs player? Nope. Brian Flores’ defense just couldn’t get off the field on third down, and another sure-fire interception was dropped on 3rd and 18.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

6 – When the Vikings came out of the locker room from halftime and Travis Kelce was not involved in the first offensive drive, Minnesota had one shot to put the clamps on a Kelce-less offense that tends to sputter in his absence. But that didn’t happen. Instead, the Chiefs fired up their smoothest drive of the game.

7 – Greg Joseph has been a “non-issue” this season, drilling all field goals and extra points asked of him. Consider it a silver lining.

8 – The Vikings kept the time of possession closer than usual (32 minutes to 28 minutes in favor of the Chiefs) — Minnesota is typically dominated via the statistic. Maybe they can figure out how to win the ToP battle in Chicago next weekend.

9 – T.J. Hockenson is terribly overdue to have a monster game that could perhaps cleanse some sins from the last three. He’s the most expensive tight end ever, and he’d likely tell you these last three showings are rather forgettable. Monitor Justin Jefferson’s status; if the league’s Offensive Player of the Year doesn’t play next weekend, a big day for Hockenson will become mandatory.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

10 – Jordan Addison played tremendously — again — and there’s a decent chance when this season is over that he’s one of the lone bright spots or future reasons for optimism heading into the offseason.

11 – Vikings scored touchdowns on 2 of 4 redzone trips. The Chiefs hit paydirt on all three redzone possessions. Once again, that’s a gamebreaker.

12 – Minnesota has performed well at Soldier Field in recent years, but that building is usually a house of strange horrors when the Vikings and Bears lock horns. It’s not exactly a dream scenario to visit that venue when a team hopes to claw its way to season-saving relevance.

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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.