Minnesota Vikings Weekly Player Recap: Week 9 2020

Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Two wins in a row! We have the Bears coming up on Monday Night Football. It will be in the Windy City, which usually means a loss. However, the Bears are playing poorly and we are riding high. We need to keep that momentum going!


Kirk Cousins - 58 snaps (100%) 13/20 for 220 yards and 3 TDs. Passer Rating 141.7, QBR 83.6. Kirk didn't make any big mistakes on Sunday. He is a game manager at this point. We have all seen his capability in games to win them for us and to lose them. Right now he is playing his role. We are going to need more from him at some point. I hope good Kirk comes out to play when we need him. It was a stat line like Teddy's 2nd year in MN. He was efficient and careful with the ball.

RBs - domination by one of the best RBs in the league...again

Dalvin Cook - 38 snaps (66%) PFF grade of 92.6 22 carries for 206 yards and 2 TDs, 2 catches for 46 yards. Cook is the best running back in the league right now. He has taken over the rushing lead and he has missed a game and a half and we've had our bye. His 70 yard TD had an expected outcome of 7 yards. He broke that tackle and scored. He continually gets hit behind the line of scrimmage and takes it for large gains. He is our offense right now. It was nice to see him play less snaps this week with us getting a bit of a lead. I can't say enough about how good Cook is. Adrian was there to watch yesterday and Cook mentioned after the game how much it meant to him.

"Like I said, I can't say enough about him. We can sit here and I can tell you so much about him, how I feel about him. I'm just, if he hear this or he don't, I'm just glad that I got a chance to watch him growing up as a young kid. To see that, it was something special for me. He don't know how he impacted my career as far as a running back. I appreciate him for everything. Just for being my big brother for anything. All Day, just keep doing you, man, and I appreciate it."

Alexander Mattison - 16 snaps (28%) 12 carries for 69 yards. Mattison played one of his better games this week. He ran very efficiently and really helped give some rest to Dalvin. We were able to keep Dalvin sidelined in the 4th quarter because we were able to move the ball with Mattison. PFF grade of 82.4 for his effort.

C.J. Ham - 34 snaps (59%) PFF grade of 55.9 seems a bit harsh. Dalvin is better with Ham on the field. That's all that matters right now.

Ameer Abdullah - 1 snap (2%) 1 glorious snap that he turned into a very nice screen for a TD. 1 play, 22 yards and a TD. It says a lot about a player who doesn't play much outside of special teams, to be able to come in and perform. This play looked like a nice gain, but he got it in the end zone against his former team.

WRs - Very efficient game from the group. They did what was needed to do and when the Lions got too close to the line of scrimmage, we were able to complete some passes to open it up.

Adam Thielen - 50 snaps (86%) 2 catches for 38 yards (5 targets) It wasn't Thielen's best game. He had a catchable ball that he didn't make a play on. He did have a nice 30 yard play.

Justin Jefferson - 35 plays (60%) 3 catches for 64 yards (4 targets) PFF grade 72.2 JJ is so dangerous at all times. He is a threat to take it to the house on a slant at any time. He is quick, has good hands and runs nice routes. I could not have been more wrong about our pick of JJ. He is the best WR from this past draft. That is a draft that was loaded with WR talent.

Chad Beebe - 17 snaps (29%) PFF grade 52.6 I saw him out there. Nothing on the stat sheet proving he was out there. We only passed the ball 20 times and with the group we have he simply isn't going to see any targets with that total.

Olabisi Johnson - 8 snaps (14%) Non Factor. See Beebe, Chad.

TEs - 5 catches for 50 yards for the group

Kyle Rudolph - 42 snaps (72%) 3 catches for 40 yards (4 targets) Really nice 22 yard play from Rudolph on our opening drive. Not much after that other than blocking. He did have a classic Vikings' play of a 8 yard catch on 3rd and 11 after taking a delay of game on the previous play.

Tyler Conklin - 25 snaps (43%) Not a good game from Conklin. We had one play where Kirk got hit as he threw and it almost was a fumble. Conklin was the blocker on that play. PFF grade 53.8. He isn't used much other than for blocking. He had to fill in for Irv when he went down.

Irv Smith Jr. - 22 snaps (38%) 2 catches 10 yards and 2 TDs (4 targets). 2 catches, 2 TDs, that is what you need from your tight ends. He hurt himself celebrating the 2nd TD and missed some time. Hopefully it is nothing serious and they kept him on the sidelines because of the score.

OL - Solid run blocking from our OL, but a mixed bag overall.

Riley Reiff - 58 snaps (100%) Reiff was solid as usual. He did have one holding penalty in the 4th quarter that led to a 3 and out. He is our best OL.

Dakota Dozier - 58 snaps (100%) Not a disaster from Dozier. He is much better in the run game than the pass. Games like the last two are what he needs to be successful.

Garrett Bradbury - 58 snaps (100%) Much better game from Bradbury than last week. He looked really good and we were actually able to run some balls inside the tackles this week. PFF grade of 74.4...very nice.

Ezra Cleveland - 58 snaps (100%) Cleveland wasn't as good as last week, but was still fairly solid. We run the ball right a lot. He is our starting RG now going forward. I can't imagine Elf taking his spot. PFF grade of 59.3 with both pass and run graded in the 50s per a tweet from Eric.

Brian O'Neill - 58 snaps (100%) Potato looked really good in the run game. There was no pressure coming from his side in the pass game. He played well. PFF grade 75.4

Rashod Hill - 2 snaps (3%) Jumbo Package

DL - They were able to run the ball fairly well against our defense. The turnovers did the Lions in, but they moved the ball way too easily on the ground. 4.8 YPC for their team.

Jalyn Holmes - 54 snaps (72%) No plays stick out to me. Which sometimes is a positive for DL. He is fine, but someone we need to upgrade from for next season.

Ifeadi Odenigbo - 54 snaps (72%) Disappointing game from Odenigbo this week. He wasn't there in run defense and I don't remember seeing him creating pressure in the passing game.

D.J. Wonnum - 38 snaps (51%) Wonnum is getting more and more playing time. He is playing well and deserves it. Weirdly his only stat is a QB hit.

Shamar Stephen - 37 snaps (49%) PFF grade 70.5 Very nice day for Stephen. One of his better games in recent memory. He and Hercules split a sack on a 3rd and 5 on our 19. We held for a FG that Prater missed. It could've been different without that sack. Early plays like this can change the entire shape of the game. He had a pair of QB hits.

Jaleel Johnson - 37 snaps (49%) PFF grade 45.4 We got ran on and Jaleel was getting no push up front. Jaleel is too inconsistent after playing well last week.

Armon Watts - 36 snaps (48%) PFF grade 80.1 Watts' best gave ever? He was in on the sack with Eric Wilson in the 4th that led to a punt. We were up by 14 and it was a nice stop.

Hercules Mata'afa - 27 snaps (36%) Hercules was in on the sack with Stephen on that 3rd down stop. I think he has played very well this week and last. Hercules should continue to see a larger role if he keeps playing well.

Abdullah Anderson - 10 snaps (13%) I don't know who this is. It was his first game playing for the Vikes. He got some mop up time. I was surprised to see him active and James Lynch inactive. I thought Lynch was playing well.

LBs - very nice

Eric Wilson - 75 snaps (100%) WILSON! Very nice game from Eric Wilson and I was surprised to not see him in the top 5 PFF grades on our defense. He had a nice interception and sack he split with Watts that forced a 3 and out. 13 total tackles. He has stepped up to take that Barr role and I have to think we've seen the last of Anthony Barr in purple.

Eric Kendricks - 75 snaps (100%) PFF grade 81.7 Kendricks is our best defender week in and week out. He had a nice pick in the end zone. He is excellent in coverage and against the run. I love me some Kendricks.

Troy Dye - 25 snaps (33%) PFF grade 41.6 Worst rated player of the game for us from PFF. I don't think it was his best game, but the 3rd LB is probably the least important position on our defense. He is only in there in base package.

DBs - do we have any healthy DBs left?

Anthony Harris - 75 snaps (100%) Maybe I gave him too much praise last week. I don't think it was his best game. He was ok and we didn't give up any big chunk plays. That might have more to do with Golladay not playing.

Harrison Smith - 75 snaps (100%) Hitman got his 2nd INT of the season. Harrison was very good in run support. His interception ended any last hopes for the Lions. They were already down by 21 and it was desperation time with their backup QB. He also picked up his 2nd helmet to helmet penalty. The play was hard with the WR ducking at the same time Harrison came in. He got him and it was a clear penalty. It is one of those that is tough for the DB though. He probably could have turned a bit more. Can't kill him over that.

Kris Boyd - 74 snaps (99%) PFF grade 65.7 Top 5 grade on our defense for Boyd. Not bad after playing pretty good last week. Boyd has filled in nicely for the injured Dantzler and he might get some more playing time going forward even when Dantzler comes back.

Jeff Gladney - 74 snaps (99%) PFF grade 82.2 Gladney's best game. He was good in coverage, but even better in run support. Best grade on our defense. He had a tackle for a loss. He played extremely well and is now clearly our #1 CB.

Chris Jones - 58 snaps (77%) PFF grade 45.9 Chris was waived by the Lions on October 24 and he was picked up by the Vikes. I thought he was fine considered he just got here and is a career journeyman. He is a body to fill in for our decimated secondary.

Curtis Riley - 1 snap (1%) I don't know who this is. I had to look at our roster to get his name correct. We picked him up off of Arizona's practice squad. It was his first game with the team.

Our special teams were not good this week and it would've cost us against a better team. We had TWO blocked punts and a missed PAT. We need to clean that crap up quickly. The Bears will be coming after us on Monday. The first one was a play where Detroit only rushed one guy and the others were playing punt safe. Overall it was a game we pretty much dominated, but those two blocks kept the door slightly open. Our offense still does not have that killer instinct when we are up. Up by 17 we went 3 and out (blocked punt), 3 and out, then the 70 yard TD from Dalvin. Not a huge deal against the Lions, but I would love to see them be able to hold onto the ball for a few long drives there.

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