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Minnesota Vikings Weekly Player Recap: Week 5, 2021

Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

The game was a win. A win is a win and I’ll take it every week. I thought the offense was really poor this week, especially in the Red Zone. I think the team will need a better effort against Carolina to win on the road. I don’t get what is happening on the offensive play calling at all. The defense was pretty good all day. They only TD they gave up was after the Mattison fumble deep in their own territory. Greg Joseph came through when needed and 4/5 on FGs is pretty good.

QB

Kirk Cousins - 67 plays (100%) 25 of 34 for 275 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 28.3 QBR, 94.6 Passer Rating. First half Kirk was really good. Second half Kirk wasn’t as effective, but I think it was more on the play calling than Kirk. There were a couple of drops from the receivers that didn’t help either. The team needed to put that game away yesterday and Zim/Klint took the ball out of Cousins hands and tried to run down the clock. I think the QBR is a bit harsh this week on Kirk. He also orchestrated a last minute drive in 30 seconds to get in field goal range. They didn’t dump it off for 5 yards to start and that is encouraging. PFF Grade 88.4 is good for best on offense.

RBs

Alexander Mattison - 44 plays (66%) 25 runs for 113 yards, 7 receptions for 40 yards. Mattison is a solid backup. He doesn’t do anything exciting. Even with a 48 yard run he only averaged 4.5 yards per carry. He isn’t explosive and for some reason the coaching staff really leaned on him to win the game instead of trusting Kirk. It almost back fired. The fumble after the two minute warning was completely stupid. He was fighting for more yards when he is 5 yards short of the first down marker. Go down, run the clock and punt. PFF 68.8

C.J. Ham - 232 plays (48%) 1 run for 1 yard, 1 catch for 14 yards. Ham has been consistently slightly above average for the team all year. He does his job and that is what we need from the FB. PFF 69.7 is 3rd best on offense.

Ameer Abdullah - 12 plays (18%) 1 run for 2 yards. Didn’t get involved much this week.

WRs

Adam Thielen - 62 plays (93%) 2 catches for 40 yards (3 targets). Adam had a drop that would’ve been a first down. He had another nice gain in the Red Zone called back on a holding call. His two catches were what got the team down the field for the winning FG with no time left. Came through when the team needed him.

Justin Jefferson - 60 plays (90%) 7 catches for 124 yards I thought Jefferson was the best player on offense for the Vikings all day. He was paramount to getting the team in scoring position multiple times. Jefferson has been consistent all year and Sunday was no different. He is Kirk’s go to receiver and no one is even close anymore. PFF 80.7 was 2nd best on offense.

K.J. Osborn - 40 plays (60%) 3 catches for 14 yards (4 targets). Quiet day for KJ. Kirk didn’t look his way often. The one target KJ didn’t catch was a ball darted into traffic that was tipped up for an INT. PFF 60.6 is 4th worst on offense.

Dede Westbrook - 14 plays (21%) 3 catches for 18 yards (4 targets) Dede had a nice 3rd down conversion right before the interception. I thought his biggest play was on special teams. Kris Boyd was blocked into Dede and he kept his concentration and fair caught the ball. That easily could’ve been a drop or just hit off Boyd for a turnvoer.

TEs -

Tyler Conklin - 50 plays (75%) 2 catches for 25 yards (3 targets) Conklin’s biggest sin is he isn’t Kyle Rudolph or Irv Smith. Conklin is a decent player, but he isn’t going to consistently put up pass catching numbers or be that Red Zone thread the team needs right now. For some reason the team keeps on leaving Conklin 1 on 1 against DEs. I hope they stop doing that. Darrisaw left him on an island on one play and dipped inside to help on the DT.

Brian Elefson - 14 plays (21%) 1 target, 1 drop Elefson is better off being used as a 6th TE.

Chris Herndon - 7 plays (10%) Two penalties on 7 plays. That was Chris’ contribution on Sunday. Both were iffy, but probably technically correct.

OL -

Rashod Hill - 39 snaps (58%) PFF 54.2 Hopefully this is the last start Hill will see. I think Darrisaw played better when he came in. 22 pass blocking snaps, 2 pressures allowed and 1 really bad sack on the first play of the 2nd half. Hill got run over by the DE and gave Kirk no chance and that lead directly to a 3 and out to start the 2nd half. (53.2 run blocking grade, 52.0 pass blocking grade)

Christian Darrisaw - 28 snaps (42%) PFF 55.5 16 pass blocking snaps, 0 pressures allowed. (46.1 run blocking grade and 57.7 pass blocking grade). Really solid showing from Darrisaw in his first real action on offense. He was trading off series with Hill throughout and I liked it better when Darrisaw was in there. He didn’t give up any big plays and you can watch his snaps on the tweet above. I hope he is named the starter this week and Hill can go back to being the injury replacement. Zim said after the game, “I watched him a few times he looked like he did fine. We’ll just have to keep looking at the film and then make some decisions there.”

Ezra Cleveland - 67 snaps (100%) PFF 66.7 Best graded OL this week. Cleveland is playing pretty good. He isn’t mauling people down and making huge holes, but he does his job. That is a great improvement from when the team has had a LG for several years.

Garrett Bradbury - 67 snaps (100%) Might be Bradbury’s best game. He was in on the Mattison push towards the end zone for the team’s only TD. He didn’t give up major pressure up the middle. I’ll go ahead and say it was his best game this year.

Oli Udoh - 67 snaps (100%) PFF 41.1 Udoh struggled a bit in this one, but wasn’t horribly bad. He did have a holding call that could’ve derailed a drive, but ended still going down the field for a FG.

Brian O’Neil - 67 snaps (100%) PFF 63.0 Just another game in the slightly above average box for O’Neil. He is consistently decent and gets paid to be consistently better than this. He wasn’t opening up space for the running game like I would hope for. No big mistakes or huge pressure given up, so I can live with this.

DL -

Danielle Hunter - 61 plays (90%) PFF 84.0 Hunter is a beast. He was in on that sack fumble combo. He is constantly getting pressure off the edge and he still is capable of setting the edge and not gambling on plays. He is the best DL on the team and might be playing better than any defender on the team.

Everson Griffen - 49 plays (72%) PFF 75.9 49 snaps, 6 pressures, 2 sacks and a forced fumble. Very nice day for Griffen. His only mistake was a hands to the face penalty on Sewell that extended a drive. He finished that same drive with back to back sacks and that forced fumble. Griffen is playing at a high level and getting all the playing time he can handle. I almost forgot about the roughing the passer penalty.

D.J. Wonnum - 40 plays (59%) PFF 78.2 DJ got a nice sack on 4th and 15 where GOff had no chance to convert. He had another pressure as well. It was an pretty good game overall for Wonnum and better than what we’ve been seeing from him.

Armon Watts - 40 plays (59%) PFF 77.1 I like Watts. I think he has earned some playing time even when Pierce is back. He is a solid DT that allows players like Kendricks to come up and make plays.

Dalvin Tomlinson - 34 plays (50%) 1 run stop from the big guy. He has been playing well this year, but Sunday wasn’t his best performance.

Sheldon Richardson - 34 plays (50%) PFF 53.4 Look at the stat sheet and Richardson isn’t even on there. The only play I remember Richardson on was him biting hard on a play fake and allowing Goff the time to get a pass off. Really hoping he can get back his juju from his first stint in MN.

James Lynch - 11 plays (16%) A couple of tackles after short gains and the fumble recovery. Just the man in the right place at the right time to recover that fumble, but good work in 11 plays.

Stephen Weatherly - 7 plays (10%) Dwindling playing time for the underperforming DE.

LBs

Eric Kendricks - 68 plays (100%) PFF 91.4 best on the team Huge bounce back game for Kendricks. That interception was a thing of beauty. One handed grab in traffic...spectacular. Kendricks was back to being a tackling machine. That is what the team needed to stop all those plays to Swift.

Anthony Barr - 68 plays (100%) PFF 50.8 worst on defense. Barr seemed to be in the right spot a lot of times, just really slow to react. It is his first game back in over a year. Hopefully he can get back up to speed quickly.

Nick Vigil - 25 plays (37%) PFF 54.5 Vigil is the opposite of Barr. He is in the wrong spot fast. Vigil flies around, but just doesn’t have the football IQ to be in the right spot.

DBs

Xavier Woods - 68 plays (100%) Woods is one of those players you forget is out there a lot. He did well this week to limit the big gains. A number of times he made the right play to limit Swift to a 10-15 yard gain that could’ve been more if Woods wasn’t in the right spot.

Patrick Peterson - 68 plays (100%) PFF 79.9 Peterson’s best game I’ve seen in purple. He had a couple of nice passes defensed, both on 3rd downs. Really solid coverage game from the savvy vet.

Harrison Smith - 68 plays (100%) PFF 74.1 Harrison Smith somehow out tackled Kendricks on Sunday. He was all over the place too. Really solid play from Hitman limiting those short passes to small gains. Strong run support too. He had a nice knock away against Ryamond that could’ve been a big gain for Detroit. He did have the one illegal contact penalty. I didn’t see it happen and I don’t think they replayed it.

Bashaud Breeland - 68 plays (100%) PFF 70.3 is too high IMO. Sadly this was probably Breeland’s best game. He gambled on one play and missed to allow a 13 yard reception that should’ve been a 5 yard catch. He had another DPI penalty and he heard the boo birds calling. Of course he had the turn full heel and egg on the crowd. He then tweeted some vulgarities after the game directed at the fans who aren’t happy with him. Not smart.

Mackenzie Alexander - 43 plays (63%) PFF 72.4 Mackenzie was so solid in coverage all day. He is a dependable slot CB and exactly what the team needs. I don’t think the DBs are in the bad of shape if the lineup is Peterson, Dantzler, Alexander, Smith and Woods. That isn’t elite, but it is better than most.

Last Week’s Player of the Week Results
Justin Jefferson 49%

Danielle Hunter 25%

Jordan Berry 20%

Everson Griffen 4%

Dalvin Tomlinson 2%

Poll

Who was this week’s best player?

  • 37%
    Justin Jefferson
    (379 votes)
  • 8%
    Kirk Cousins
    (83 votes)
  • 13%
    Everson Griffen
    (139 votes)
  • 16%
    Eric Kendricks
    (166 votes)
  • 0%
    Harrison Smith
    (9 votes)
  • 7%
    Danielle Hunter
    (79 votes)
  • 14%
    Greg Joseph
    (143 votes)
998 votes total Vote Now