Week one is in the books for the Minnesota Vikings and the team didn’t disappoint. The Vikings defeated the San Francisco 49ers 24-16, in what almost came down to a nail-biter. Minnesota gave fans a pretty solid preview of what to look forward to this season.
Every week, I’ll mention two offensive and defensive players that I thought made a significant impact in the game.
Here are my two offensive studs:
Cousins had a solid outing in his Vikings regular-season debut. He threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns. He completed 20-of-36 passes, for a completion rate of 55.6%. Despite that shaky offensive line, it held up pretty good for Cousins.The way he was slinging passes was fun to watch, he really knows how to thread the needle when he throws through coverage.
He ran the ball four times for 26 yards. Late in the fourth quarter, Cousins was trying to grab a first down, so he took off and when he got close he dove head first into two defenders. The way he threw his head down when he dove was scary. It just would of been classic Minnesota Vikings if Cousins would have gotten hurt (even though that would be absolutely horrible to Kirk). Props to him though for just going balls deep.
Who else almost just shit their pants after Cousins threw his helmet down when he dove forward? #Vikings #SFvsMIN— Lucas Ailport (@lucas_ailport) September 9, 2018
Thielen continued right where he left off from last season. He had six receptions for 102 yards, his longest was 34 yards. Thielen had the most receptions along with Dalvin Cook, who also had six, Thielen was targeted 12 times.
Stefon Diggs started things off on the receiving end, but finished the game with only three catches off of six targets, but Thielen picked things up. It just seems to all come so natural for Thielen and I truly believe that he has the capability to have a 100-yard days every week.
I’m no expert or anything, but it’s probably a challenge for opposing defenses to try and figure out what player is going to guard Diggs or Thielen. I’m sure the two will alternate between weeks since one may be double covered and the other may not be.
Now, here’s my two defensive studs:
Boy, today he sure proved why he’s capable of being the best safety in the league. Smith led the team with eight total tackles (7 solo, 1 assist). He even managed to sack Jimmy Garoppolo, it only took him 2.9 seconds to sack him. Then, he stepped up big late in the game to help seal the deal with an interception. Ohh yeah, almost forgot about that fumble recovery.
Harrison Smith making an early head start on his Defensive Player of the Year campaign:— Nick Olson (@NicholasJOlson) September 9, 2018
• One sack,
• Two tackles for loss,
• One goal line stop
• One goal line fumble recovery
• And the game-winning interception. pic.twitter.com/E84vMGFWff
I wrote about a few BOLD predictions I had for the season. One was Smith recording ten interceptions this season. Well, he’s certainly on pace… Only needs nine more. If this’ how Smith and the rest of the defense is going to play all year, then this will be another fun year to watch.
Hughes didn’t seem notorious for grabbing interceptions during his time in college. He must of been working on those ball skills, because he grabbed a pick and took it to the house for six. What would make a better NFL debut than doing something like that?
A pick-6 in the NFL debut from the @UCF_Football rookie!— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 9, 2018
We see you, Mike Hughes! #SFvsMIN pic.twitter.com/ztlC9241uJ
Well, probably having a solid day all around. He also recorded three tackles and defended three passes that were sent his way. He was a gunner on special teams and managed to down a punt at the four. No knock to Trae Waynes, but don’t be shocked if Hughes becomes a starter (don’t really think it would be a shocker to anyone). It’s only week one, but there’s already Defensive Rookie of The Year talk. He did get a good start with that performance though.