The Vikings improved its record to 3-2-1, and is in second place in the NFC North (Green Bay plays on Monday Night Football against San Francisco). Now that we are six games through, here are three takeaways I gathered after the Arizona game:
Defense is coming around
Look, I’ve seen tweets on twitter about how the Vikings’ defense is the worst in the league based off a couple of horrendous performances (get over yourselves). I wonder how those people are feeling after the defense allowed 10 points to the Cardinals, and only allowed six points through three quarters against Philadelphia.
For the second week in a row Minnesota’s run defense has allowed under 100 rushing yards. Two weeks ago against the Eagles, the defense allowed 81 rushing yards, and against the Cards, only allowed 61 yards off of 20 carries. The Vikings have only given up one rushing touchdown in the past two weeks.
Although Cardinals’ quarterback Josh Rosen threw for 240 yards, the defense made sure not to let the Cards get in the end zone, which is the point. Minnesota sacked Rosen four times. Danielle Hunter had a pair, Harrison Smith and Mackensie Alexander both recorded one. Also, Anthony Harris stepped up big, literally. He jumped in front of a pass intended for Larry Fitzgerald, and managed to grab his first NFL interception.
With all the big plays he has made in the last few years when filling in, I was a little surprised that this was the first interception of Anthony Harris' career. pic.twitter.com/xtizdJ6j2I— Eric Thompson (@eric_j_thompson) October 15, 2018
The offense is fine
Despite a banged-up offensive line, the offense still seems to know how to get points on the board. Sure, the offense has a few hiccups throughout the game, but not as many as some would think.
Through six games, Kirk Cousins has thrown the ball for about an average of 333 yards a game. He has 1,921 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Now, people can say what they want, but Arizona has a pretty respectable defense, besides the run game.
Cousins still managed to throw the ball 233 yards, even though the run game ran for a total of 199 yards. With Dalvin Cook out, trusty veteran Latavius Murray ran the rock 24 times for 155 yards, and took one to the house. That was Minnesota’s first rushing touchdown this season, he even threw in a nasty stiff-arm to get in the end zone. Even rookie Mike Boone broke loose for a 20-yard carry.
Latavius Murray with the vicious stiff arm on his way to the end zone!pic.twitter.com/5xQcuRpalm— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 14, 2018
Treadwell is showing his worth
Let’s be honest, Laquon Treadwell has come a long way since that disastrous performance against Green Bay. He was targeted six times in that game, and only caught two passes. Since then, by each game, his consistency seems to be progressing. After that performance, he’s been targeted 19 times, yeah that’s right, captain Kirk doesn’t give up on anyone.
Out of those 19 targets, he’s caught 15 of them. Against Arizona, he was targeted four times, and caught every pass thrown his way. He managed almost 10 yards a catch with 38 receiving yards. Treadwell is only one reception away from tying his season high in catches.
I really want to see Treadwell become something , especially after seeing what he did at Ole Miss in the SEC. It looks like he’s coming around, along with his confidence. Slow and steady wins the race, I guess?