A lot of questions will be answered come Sunday when the Vikings face the San Francisco 49ers in its regular-season home opener at U.S. Bank Stadium. But, regardless if those questions will be answered, it’s finally time for Sunday lounging, day drinking and regular-season football.
Here are a few things to pay attention to:
1. Richardson’s debut, and that defensive front
Some people think defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson will be a bust, some people think he will be beneficial up front. Well, he finally gets to make his case on why he was brought to Minnesota, and to give all the non-believers, something to actually believe in.
I believe with Everson Griffen on one side and Danielle Hunter on the other, then Garoppolo will be in a lot of trouble. Those aren’t the only two that will be applying pressure. You got Linval Joseph and Richardson in the middle, honestly I’ll be shocked if a 49ers running back will be able to get through that wall.
I’m also intrigued to see if the coaching staff decides to rotate any of the young defensive linemen into the game. One player who I would like to see get worked into the game is second-year defensive end Tashawn Bower, who seen minimal action last season, only playing in two games.
2. The workload of Cook
I know, there’s been a lot of talk about Cook’s return and it may be starting to get old. But, the time for him to finally play in regular-season action is here. I have to at least bring it up, because it’s relevant and people are hyped about his return.
The real thing to pay attention to is the amount of carries that Cook will get in week one. Especially when Minnesota has a trusty workhorse in Latavius Murray, who rushed for 842 on 216 carries and scored eight touchdowns last season.
Not to mention the Vikes do have both undrafted free agent running backs in Roc Thomas and Mike Boone. It makes you wonder if the Vikings are at all concerned about Cook’s productivity since the team decided to hold onto both Thomas and Boone.
3. Treadwell’s impact
This is the season that we will see the most productivity out of wideout Laquon Treadwell during his three NFL seasons. During the preseason he caught a total of six passes for a total of 55 yards, which is about ten yards a catch.
Treadwell only participated in nine games during his rookie season in 2016. He caught just one pass for 15 yards. He saw an increase in productivity in his sophomore campaign last season. He played in all 16 games and managed to scrape up 20 receptions for 200 yards.
Just like what everyone else is saying, this is Treadwell’s season to prove that he can be successful in the NFL.