I was not sure if Wulford would write another Stock Market report but decided I would still write up the fan post one because since I started reading the Daily Norseman this has been one of my favorite articles. As for the game *Unprintable string of obscenities." Well, the Vikings have played and lost their 1st game. The only thing missing from Minnesota’s loss was a missed FG and a Cousins pick 6. I love the Vikings but today wrecked my blood pressure right before work tomorrow. Anyway, Rick and Zim avoid one of the few things I was going to flame them for no matter what, Dozier was not on the field. On to the rankings.
Blue Chip Stocks:
Greg Joseph: Yes, A Vikings kicker gets a blue-chip stock. I will give everyone a moment to get over the shock. Joseph made a career long 53 yd fg to send the Vikings to OT and even survived being iced.
Special Teams: The Vikings special teams was the best part of the entire game. After last year’s team made a dumpster fire look competent and was the worst unit on the 2020 Vikings. For the 1st game at least the Vikings special teams was solid. There was one bad return out of the endzone by Smith-Marsette and a bad opening punt but the special team was much improved.
Adam Thielen: The offense was bad, but Thielen managed to produce once they got going. Two touch downs and a clutch penalty in OT helped the Vikings have a chance. On a day when the Vikings offense was hard to watch Thielen provided a bright spot.
Justin Jefferson: Jefferson looked a little rusty to start the game. That was not a huge surprise after suffering a shoulder injury in camp. He had a TD taken away after a questionable call but took a little bit of time to get going. Jefferson almost got a blue-chip stock as potential QB of the future after a nice pass to KJ Osborn. I’m not worried about Osborn
Revamped Defensive Line: The Vikings line overall looked better than last year. Hunter got a sack late and the run defense was better overall. The line did struggle at times and there is still some work to do but I think the line will improve. It was nice to see Pierce get a sack and Griffen back out there. The secondary had more issues but I think the defense is on the uptick.
Dalvin Cook: Dalvin had a "fumble" in overtime. But overall Cook did get going but had to shake off some rust. Some of the inside runs were rough and of course we had to have a pass behind the line on a 2nd and forever but Cook was not the issue.
Harrison Smith: Smith had a bad missed tackle in the 3rd quarter but overall played well. The secondary was more of a work in progress but Smith remains consistent. I hope with veteran CBs Smith might have more shots at picks and other plays again.
No Dakota Dozier: The Oline was really bad and the interior struggled again. Everyone had at least one penalty but O’Neill remained the best oline player out there. The interior was bad but as bad as it was, I think seeing Dozier would have been worse because there is no hope, he will be better. Also shout out to Zim and Rick for listening to my free agency report and avoiding being flamed for Dozier.
Camryn Bynum: Bynum had a nice play on special teams to help pin the Bengals back. As one of the few rookies I was able to notice on the field he is one to keep watch. Hopefully we can add Darrisaw and Davis to this list later but for now Bynum tops the penny stocks.
Ihmir Smith-Marsette: Marsette handled kick return duties and had one bad call to run out of the endzone but overall Marsette seemed to do pretty well on special teams.
KJ Osborn: Osborn struggled as a punt returner last year but made plays as the 3rd wide receiver. Its early yet but Osborn has promise especially with Irv Smith out.
Kirk Cousins: This take is going to get me flamed but Kirk was not good today. He got going late in the game but we needed more out of the QB position and Kirk was slow to make decisions. There were some bad throws and a few times where the blitz was obviously coming and Kirk did not do anything to try and stop it. I will give credit to Kirk for holding on to the ball and not losing a fumble but we need more from Kirk.
Mike Zimmer: Zim is going on blast too. At half Zim said the issues were on Kirk holding the ball too long and not throwing the ball. That was part of it the other part was a team that was not ready and playing undisciplined. It is up to Zim to get the team focused and by calling out the QB and not taking some responsibility Zim is setting up this team for potential rebellion if the season tanks.
The Offensive Line: The Oline was awful in the first half, and the second half. Bad penalties and the interior line was still less effective than Joe Berger and 2 cardboard cutouts. The interior is obviously still a work in progress and Hill should not be a full-time starter. Hopefully Darrisaw will be back soon and we can see what we have in him.
Buy: No Preseason hurt the offense. By sitting the starters through the entire preseason the Vikings put their offense behind the 8ball for the first game. The Offense did get things going toward the end of the 1st half and looked marginally better by the end of the game. But its clear they were not gelling yet.
Sell: The Vikings needed to play more preseason Its hard but I will take a slow 1st half trade off to serious injuries in the preseason. The Vikings could have done more practice work to make up but losing Irv was a warning, your main starters should not be put in danger in meaningless games.
Buy: This was a wake-up call. The Vikings were expected to beat the Bengals and instead they were on the ugly end of an ugly game. There was offseason talk about the Vikings being favorites for the division if Rodgers sat out. Today shows that some of that talk was premature.
Sell: The Season is over. Its week 1 and several teams that were expected to be better lost. With a 17 game season the Vikings have plenty of time to pull things together. You are not winning the Superbowl after one game and you are not going 0-17 either.
This game was tough to watch because the Vikes lost. Minnesota has a chance to be good this season but the first couple of games are going to be rough. So far the NFC north is on track to be swept this week so the Vikings might not lose any ground. Its going to be a long season but I’m glad the Daily Norseman is here for every minute of