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Minnesota Vikings Weekly Player Recap: Week 15 (Bears)

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

A win is a win. It was an ugly game overall. The OL couldn’t block Akiem Hicks and Robert Quinn. Kirk could not handle the pressure in his face and Dalvin Cook seemed to be the only bright spot on offense. The defense did allow a lot of yardage, but held in the Red Zone. They forced 3 turnovers and another 3 turnovers on downs.


Kirk Cousins - 64 snaps (100%) 12 for 24 for 87 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 19.0 QBR, 69.3 passer rating, PFF 59.1. Yikes, it was not Cousins’ best night. This is the 3rd game of mediocre play or worse from Kirk. There was some pressure all night and Kirk did not handle it well. He was slow making decisions and very inaccurate. His one interception actually wasn’t his fault again. Justin Jefferson got taken down and the refs just missed the call. The team needs better from Kirk the next three weeks if they want to make the playoffs.


Dalvin Cook - 57 snaps (89%) 28 carries for 89 yards and 2 catches for 2 yards (3 targets) Cook got almost no help from the right side of the OL. There was no room to run. They only lanes were on the left. He had 91 of the team’s 193 yards. He didn’t have any huge plays, but he kept the chains moving on several drives when the passing game was providing nothing.

C.J. Ham - 25 snaps (39%) 1 catch for 3 yards (1 target) PFF 64.6. CJ Ham is so consistent. He did well blocking and got a catch on the opening drive. Just good overall as a lead back for Cook.

Kene Nwangwu - 5 snaps (8%) 3 carries for 33 yards. Nwangwu got a nice 19 yard gain on the Vikings’ final scoring drive of the game. He followed that up with an 11 yard gain to get to the 35 yard line of Chicago. That setup an ISM touchdown 6 plays later. Not much action other than that.


Justin Jefferson - 59 snaps (92%) 4 catches for 47 yards (10 targets), 1 TD, PFF 70.7. Some people don’t like JJ’s frustration, because it reminds them of Diggs. I like his fire and they need to give him the ball in better situations.

K.J. Osborn - 56 snaps (88%) 3 catches for 21 yards (3 targets) Nothing too exciting when your QB only passes it for 87 yards. Osborn caught everything that went his way, but not much after the catch. He also had an illegal block above the waist to start a drive that the team was able to overcome.

Ihmir Smith-Marsette - 31 (48%) 1 catch for 7 yards (2 targets) All he does is catch TDs.

Myron Mitchell - 1 snap (2%)

TEs -

Tyler Conklin - 47 snaps (73%) 1 catch for 7 yards (3 catches) PFF 46.0. Holding penalty that caused a 3 and out in the middle of the 4th quarter and a short catch on the last minute drive to end the 1st half. Other than that it was just off target deep throws from Kirk.

Luke Stocker - 19 snaps (30%) Held in as a blocker to help Darrisaw against Quinn for most of his snaps.

Chris Herndon - 10 snaps (16%) Pass catching TE that doesn’t get passes thrown his way.

OL -

Christian Darrisaw - 64 snaps (100%) PFF 81.3 overall, 91.6 run, 63.1 pass, 2 pressures allowed. Really surprised at the high marks from PFF. I understand the solid run grade, but Quinn seemed to beat Darrisaw more than he was credited for. It was a tough assignment and Darrisaw handled it well.

Ezra Cleveland - 64 snaps (100%) PFF 88.5 overall, 82.1 run, 87.6 pass, no pressures allowed. Is Ezra becoming a reliable OG? He isn’t perfect by any means, but he is the 2nd best OL on the team right now behind O’Neil. This was one of his better games when the OL around him was falling apart.

Garrett Bradbury - 64 snaps (100%) PFF 48.9 overall, 44.7 run, 71.8 pass, 1 pressure allowed. Bradbury is going to get manhandled every game when he has to block larger DTs. He is best when the team can establish the run and Bradbury can get to the 2nd level.

Mason Cole - 64 snaps (100%) PFF 40.5 overall, 44.3 run, 32.0 pass, 6 pressure allowed. Akiem Hicks ate Cole’s lunch, took his gf, stole his truck and danced on his ancestors’ graves. Akiem Hicks deserves a better team.

Brian O’Neil - 64 snaps (100%) PFF 67.5 overall, 56.1 run, 84.0 pass, no pressures allowed. O’Neil just couldn’t get any movement in the run game. He is the best pass blocking OL by far on the team and showed it again on Monday.

Blake Brandel - 10 snaps (16%) The team is running a lot of Jumbo packages with Brandel at the TE spot. 9 of the 10 snaps Brandel reported as eligible.

DL - overall the DL did extremely well to limit the mobility of Justin Fields.

D.J. Wonnum - 64 snaps (88%) PFF 55.0, 34.7 run defense grade really brought down Wonnum’s grade. Wonnum looked super fast against the pass. He closed down on Fields for 3 sacks at an impressive clip. Not great against the run, but I think the team will take it if they can get 3 sacks from Wonnum every game.

Sheldon Richardson - 56 snaps (77%) PFF 80.4 Richardson was a beast. He ripped the ball out of David Montgomery’s hands when the Bears were deep inside Viking territory. He then had to tell Zim to challenge it because the refs were terrible. Richardson is on a hot streak right now and looks like the player that was here several years ago.

Dalvin Tomlinson - 33 snaps (45%) PFF 75.8 Tomlinson quietly does his thing every week. He doesn’t get much on the box score, but he does his job extremely well. He eats up double teams like I eat pizzas at Pizza Ranch. He also blocked a kick that changed the game. The Bears were attempting a 49 yard FG to make the score 10-6. Everything would’ve changed from there if he didn’t get one of his big mitts on the ball.

Michael Pierce - 31 snaps (42%) PFF 74.3 Pierce played well to keep Fields in check. I fully expected a 100+ yard game from Fields on the ground. Pierce rotated off quite a bit on passing downs, but did well on 1st and 2nd down to keep the Bears in 3rd and long.

Armon Watts - 40 snaps (55%) PFF 70.2 He didn’t get any sacks or tackles, but Watts was very good. Very similar to Tomnlinson, Watts just eats up blockers to open things up for Barr, Kendricks and co to make plays.

James Lynch - 40 snaps (55%) PFF 49.0. Too small to get push and not skilled enough right now to make the moves needed to get consistent pressure. He is young and hopefully he will hit the gym this offseason.

Patrick Jones II - 19 snaps (26%) A couple of run stops (gain of 3 and no gain) for the youngen. Slowly building up trust with the coaching staff to get more playing time.

Tashawn Bower - 7 snap (10%) Not much time for Bower to make an impact. He’ll be bouncing back and forth between the practice squad and active roster for the foreseeable future.

LBs -

Anthony Barr - 73 snaps (100%) Really solid game from Anthony Barr. He recovered the fumble that Cam Dantzler forced and played very well against the run. He allowed a few passes to Herbert and Graham. Barr is better at the line of scrimmage than dropping back in coverage.

Eric Kendricks - 51 snaps (70%) PFF 37.7. Kendricks was very poor against the pass. Kmet seemed to have his number. He also had a bad hit on Fields that led to his ejection early in the 4th quarter. I don’t think it will lead to a suspension, but it wasn’t good. Kendricks was 3rd on the team in tackling even though he left early. However, only 1 of his tackles were closer than 6 yards to the LOS. Clearly not one of his better games.

Nick Vigil - 34 snaps (47%) Vigil had to fill in for Kendricks after he was ejected. Nick had one run stop and allowed a few passes to Graham and Montgomery. There is a big drop off when he takes the field.

Troy Dye - 2 snaps (3%)


Xavier Woods - 73 snaps (100%) Decent game from Woods, but nothing too exciting. He did have a nice stop on a pass to Montgomery on a 2nd and 24 that kept the Bears behind the sticks. He gave up a short 6 yard gain to Kmet in direct coverage and Darnell Mooney got in front of him for a 27 yard gain.

Harrison Smith - 73 snaps (100%) Harrison Smith tied Wonnum for the team lead in tackles. The Hitman had 5 tackles within 4 yards of the LOS. He was flying all over the place on the night his Pro Bowl spot was announced.

Cameron Dantzler - 73 snaps (100%) PFF 69.8. Dantlzer was really good on help when Justin Fields scrambled. He had 3 tackles on Fields including a nice forced fumble. He did give up some gains in the passing game, but most were moderate gains.

Patrick Peterson - 73 snaps (100%) Peterson had two passes defensed in the end zone. He wasn’t great all night though. The Bears’ first drive of the 4th quarter started with Peterson giving up 10+ yard gains to Damiere Byrd on 3 of the first 4 plays.

Mackenzie Alexander - 59 snaps (81%) PFF 48.0. Alexander can’t cover full size bed with a king size comforter. Monday Night was no different. He is slow to react and never anticipates anything.

Camryn Bynum - 2 snaps (3%)


Who was the Vikes’ best player on Monday?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    DJ Wonnum
    (282 votes)
  • 5%
    Dalvin Cook
    (41 votes)
  • 4%
    Dalvin Tomlinson
    (30 votes)
  • 48%
    Sheldon Richardson
    (339 votes)
692 votes total Vote Now

Last Game’s Poll Results

Dalvin Cook - 87%

Harrison Smith - 6%

Mason Cole - 5%

Garrett Bradbury - 2%

Justin Jefferson - 1%