The NFC north master plan to get the Bears to give Mitch a 10 year 500 million dollar fully guaranteed contract is going according to plan. Soon the Bears will be saddled with a generic version of Jay Cutler. Alright all kidding aside today basically put a nail in the coffin of the Vikings playoff hopes, and they need a lot of help to make it into the 7th seed, and if they squeeze in i foresee much heartbreak. Anyway on to this report!
Blue Chip Stocks
Tyler Conklin: Conklin scored his first NFL TD today and looked really good. He got some good catches and ran for some serious YAC. Conklin was our best tight end today and if he can keep this up, he might be in line for a larger role next season.
Cam Dantzler: So this year our corner backs have been, not great, but today Dantzler got a very important pick in the endzone to at least keep the Vikings in this game. Dantzler did a good job for most of the game when he was on Robinson and is a bright spot on our defense.
Dan Bailey: The bar for special teams is so low this season that the Dan Bailey redemption game gets a blue chip today! After missing 4 kicks in Tampa and calls for Bailey to be left in Tampa as well, (made by yours truly in this very space last week) Dan came out and made all of his kicks. Good job Dan, maybe you will finally break the Vikings kicker curse.
Justin Jefferson: Jefferson broke the Vikings rookie record for receptions today and had his 6th 100 yd receiving game of the season. He made some excellent catches today and was able to catch the bears napping a few times. He even tried to pull a Kyle Rudolph and snatch a high pass in the endzone. He had a great toe drag near the end to set up the hail mary and saved a second interception by popping the ball out of the defenders hands.
Dalvin Cook: Dalvin ran well today. Breaking a few runs and collecting a touch down along the way. At times it looked like the heavy work load this year has worn him down a bit but he came out today running hard. Even with Hicks in Dalvin broke 100 yds and helped punch in a goal line touch down.
Kirk Cousins: Kirk remains a solid investment today, he had a solid game and made some nice throws. He made a few plays with his legs and played pretty clean, he did have a sack fumble early in the game that was rough but his Hail Mary at the end of the game was catchable and he did a good job of getting the Vikings close enough on that final drive.
Todd Davis: Davis got the Viking's only sack of the afternoon and was pretty solid on the run. In the absence of Kendricks Davis has stepped up. Especially on a day when the Vikings defense as a whole was off its game.
DJ Wonnum: DJ puts in a lot of effort every time he is on the field. After Trubisky took off Wonnum continued to follow him until he was able to help 2 other defenders bring him down. He also got a hand on Montgomery from the bottom of the pile and almost stopped him for a loss. Its still his rookie year but the Vikings look like they have found a solid contributor in the rookie.
Chris Jones: Jones looked like our worst Corner back out there today, Robinson blew past him a few times and Jones missed a tackle on Robinson early in the game where a solid hit had a chance to drive him out of bounds, when Dantzler went out Jones got picked on almost immediately. The Vikings still need to address corner back going into next season because Jones isn't it folks.
Jaleel Johnson: Johnson got almost no push in the run game today and was basically run over by the bears offensive line. While the defensive line as a whole struggled again to get pressure or stop the run, whenever i was watching Johnson it looked like he wasn't even trying anymore. Maybe I am being to harsh but it might be time to move on from Jaleel.
Irv Smith: Irv has had a pretty good season since the bye week but today he came up short in a big way. With a chance to cut the lead to 6 points at the half he dropped a touch down pass that hit him in the middle of the numbers. He needs to make that catch. I do think Irv will bounce back from this but it was still a soul crushing drop.
The Announcers: The Fox Team today sounded like they were hired from the Bears radio network. 2020 has been a weird year but even though the Vikings stayed in the game the whole way it seemed that most of the commentary was on how well the bears did the last game and leaving the Vikes as an afterthought. Next time just stick Jay Cutler in the booth with a case of PBR and have him call the game.
Buy: The Vikings bounced back this season, after starting 1-5 I had written the Vikings off but to their credit they played hard and got back into the thick of things over the last month. They have also had a few young guys improve greatly over the course of this season. This bodes well for 2021
Sell: The Vikings can make a deep run if they do make the playoffs, I do not think the Vikings will make it in but if they manage to make it I don't see this team making any noise, this year was always going to be a soft rebuild type year and the pandemic has not helped. The Vikings have been fun and give me a lot of hope for next season but i am not seeing playoffs this year.
Buy: The Vikings are out of range for Lawrence and Fields this year, the Vikings are probably out of range for the top 2 quarterbacks in the upcoming draft but today's loss puts them picking at 14. The Vikings are probably not able to move up enough to grab one of the top two guys.
Sell: The Vikings are out of range of top ten talent. While the 2 hottest QB prospects are probably out of the Vikings reach Minnesota should be in position to move up if there is a guy they really like at say Oline or Dline. I would not rule out a QB either to sit behind Cousins but we are getting to the point in the season where it doesn't hurt to look at next year's draft.
The season isn't over and I would love to see Minnesota spoil New Orleans chance at the 1 seed, but I also think the Vikings will have to make some choices next week. I would think if Kendricks still isn't 100% it might be best to just shut him down for the year and do the same with Rudolph if you are not going to be getting into the playoffs. Its a little concerning that some of these "minor" injuries are leading to multiple lost weeks this year. Today's game was disheartening, the Vikings should have been able to take care of the Bears at home and now head to the road to hopefully beat the Saints and the Lions, or at least the Saints. Its very possible that Brees retires at the end of the year and I want him to lose the last time he faces the Vikings.