12 Snap Reactions after Saints at Vikings

One Man for Vikings
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Each week, we offer a “snap reactions” piece detailing thoughts and analysis after the latest Minnesota Vikings game.

12 Snap Reactions after Saints at Vikings

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

The Vikings won 27-19 in Week 10 at home versus the New Orleans Saints, continuing Minnesota’s recent winning streak to five games and triumphing without Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Marcus Davenport, K.J. Osborn, and Cam Akers, among others.

Reactions after Saints
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1 – It took 10 weeks, but the Vikings finally fired up a game without offensive turnovers. Unsurprisingly, the purple team was on the cusp of wiping a team all over the field in the first half but then couldn’t quite complete the blowout. Regardless, the Vikings turnover woes seem in the rearview, and they’re winning games accordingly. This is a direct correlation.

2 – Each and every week, the 2023 Vikings feel eerily like the 2017 Vikings. Of course, the current defense isn’t that good, but the parallels with injuries and subsequent wins, for example, are bizarre.

3 – Josh Dobbs produced an 88.3 ESPN QBR, which is absolutely elite. He should not be perceived as an overachieving QB2 or QB3 and instead should be viewed through a lens as a decent-to-good QB1.

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4 – The Vikings were without Cousins, Jefferson, Davenport, Akers, Osborn, and others; heading into the contest, most fans thought, “Who cares? We’ll still win.” That mentality would’ve been unthinkable in late September.

5 – T.J. Hockenson was fantastic — again — and was worth every penny of his humongous contract. He tallied 11 receptions for 134 yards and a score. When Jefferson is out, the man is a savior.

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6 – Minnesota can’t be considered a true Super Bowl contender until they utilize a running back who’s steadily efficient. Yes, they can reach the postseason, but without a run-the-game-out halfback, the Vikings won’t be taken too seriously, at least not for February football.

7 – The good news? The Vikings didn’t abandon the run, even when it wasn’t very productive. The team won’t win many games if Dobbs is asked to fling it 50 times, so continuing the quest for the special stuff on the ground is vital. Maybe they’ll hit on Chandler or Nwangwu before too long.

8 – The Vikings have turned the corner in winning the time of possession battle. Like the turnover ratio, the TOP ownership coincides with the winning streak. Possessing the ball longer typically leads to good things. They held the ball for over 33 minutes on Sunday.

9 – Penalties remain a shining bright spot for the Vikings. Even when dead in the water at 1-4, they kept yellow laundry off the field. Tip of the cap to the coaching staff.

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10 – You might shake your head or smirk, but Minnesota is absolutely in the driver’s seat for the postseason. Beating the Packers, Falcons, and Saints in back-to-back-to-back weeks ensures the tiebreakers in January will be favorable. To obtain at least the seventh seed — their ceiling is now higher than that — the Vikings merely have to hope the Buccaneers don’t go on a long winning streak. You can write this down — mathematically speaking, Minnesota has a very reasonable shot at the postseason. And then some.

11 – We’ll continue to say this until no longer applicable: Minnesota needs to stay within two games of the Detroit Lions until Christmas Eve. If it does that, it “controls its own fate” for the NFC North crown.

12 – The Vikings ownership totally nailed the hires of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell. Until further notice, never let anyone tell you any different.

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.