FanPost

4 Downs to 4-5

1st Down: If there was ever any doubt that Justin Jefferson is the future of the Minnesota Vikings, it was pretty much removed yesterday with his nine catch, 143-yard explosion. Quite literally every time the Vikes needed a big play, he provided it. First down, third down, long yardage, short yardage, whatever...JJ wasn't going to be denied. There's a more-than-reasonable case to be made that no matter what happens the rest of this 2021 season, keeping #18 happy should be paramount. His MN career CANNOT take the Stefon Diggs route (i.e. leaving too early).

2nd Down: All of what was said above about Jefferson? Copy-and-paste for Eric Kendricks on the other side of the ball. Need a form tackle to snuff out a run? He's making it. Need a momentum-shifting turnover? He's jumping a route. I doubt that too many teams in the NFL can say that their best defensive player on any given snap is a linebacker, but that's how it's playing out for the Vikings right now. Zimmer kept 2020's defense patched together with spit and glue for as long as he could, but when Kendricks was injured the bottom finally fell out (knock on wood for his continued good health in '21).

3rd Down: As hard as I've been on Zimmer in weeks past, I have to give credit where it is due. With his defense missing Harrison Smith, Anthony Barr, Michael Pierce, Danielle Hunter, & Patrick Peterson, he held an often-explosive Chargers unit to 20 points on their home turf. I honestly didn't see a way in which Minnesota kept Herbert & Co. to under 27-or-so points, but Zim found a way.

4th Down: I also have to give Kirk Cousins some credit. Not that he played at some superhuman level (25/37, 294 yards, 2 TD), but rather that he didn't fold despite being under considerable pressure. It seemed for all the world, after the first half, to be "one of those games" where Cousins would get skittish and sort of just turtle inwards as the game went along. Instead, he actually turned up the aggressiveness meter and fired it around to various wide receivers. No guarantees that such gusto will make a re-appearance next week (or even be supported by the head coach, for that matter), but without it against LA the Vikings would have been dead ducks.

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.