Sunday night's victory over the Green Bay Packers featured some great performances along with some not-so-great games. Ted's Stock Market Report highlighted Stefon Diggs, Sam Bradford, and the defensive line as blue chip stocks while putting the entire offensive line in the junk bonds section.
The number crunchers at Pro Football Focus agree with what we saw. None of the defensive lineman made PFF's list of the top-graded players from Week 2, but both Diggs and Bradford graded highly enough to make it. Here's what they said about the surprising performance from Bradford, who earned a 87.2 grade (on their scale of 0-100):
In his first action for the team since the trade with Philadelphia, Bradford was impressively efficient, and at his best under pressure. That's a good thing, because he was under pressure on 48.6 percent of his dropbacks, second-most in the league this week.
To do what Bradford did only two weeks after joining the team, with the degree of difficulty that the offensive line added, was pretty incredible to watch.
Of course Bradford didn't do it alone. PFF gave his go-to receiver Diggs an even higher grade of 89.8. Their explanation:
Against the Packers on Sunday night, Diggs looked like Antonio Brown. He torched Damarious Randall, who had been excellent in Week 1, ending the game having caught all nine passes thrown his way for 182 yards and a score, gaining 77 yards after the catch.
The Brown comparison is well-deserved high praise. Diggs' torching of Randall was so thorough that it landed the usually reliable Green Bay corner on their list of the ten worst individual performances of Week 2. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers also ended up on the list of poor performances with a 35.3 grade.
Unfortunately a Vikings player joined Randall and Rodgers on the list, and nobody that watched the game should be particularly surprised by it. Left tackle Matt Kalil had a brutal game against the Packers, which PFF noticed:
It didn't seem to matter who lined up across from Kalil on Sunday night—they were going to beat him rushing the passer. Kalil allowed a sack, a hit, and three hurries in Sam Bradford's Minnesota debut, and was beaten on an additional four other pass rushes, though no pressure was recorded. Kalil also allowed two run stops, and was just unable to make many positive blocks all game.
The Vikings are 2-0 and by themselves atop the NFC North, but their offensive line play must improve if they hope to have any sustained success. In fact, Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus wrote an article saying as much. It's unrealistic to assume Bradford can bail the line out (and stay healthy) every week if he's under pressure every other dropback.