As Jordan Addison was robbed of the ball by Charvarius Ward, I couldn’t help but laugh. “Of course,” I thought, “How else would the Minnesota Vikings start a game?” I’m sure most of us were somewhere along the same wavelength, assuming that the 49ers would get out to an early lead, and the Vikings would be playing from behind the whole time. But, somehow, the Vikings found a way to take the momentum back from the 49ers and controlled the game from start to finish.
Could it be that Jordan Addison’s redemption over Ward at the end of the first half is an omen of what is to come of this season? In the first few games, the Vikings had opportunities ripped away from them with each loss. Now, with a convincing win over one of the premier teams in the NFL, the Vikings have an opportunity to redeem themselves and go on an absolute tear, Just like Addison did before halftime. Here we go, gang! This week’s Stock Market Report is below!
Blue Chip Stocks
Kirk Cousins - Was this the best we’ve seen from Kirk? He shredded one of the top defenses in the league, going 35/45 for 378 yards, with two touchdowns and a pick. I think the Vikings wanted to run the ball more, but there was no justifying turning away from Kirk when he just couldn’t miss.
Jordan Addison - Addison broke out in a huge way on Monday. Not even cramps could stop this guy as he finished with seven catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns, and an 84.9 PFF grade. The Vikings will have one of the best wide receiver duos in the league when Jefferson is back.
TJ Hockenson - Kirk and Hock finally look like they’re back on the same page! TJ hauled in 11 passes and was Kirk’s safety blanket whenever he needed him. After a rather underwhelming start to the season, we should look to see his excellence continue as the games march on.
Offensive Line - Against one of the best defenses in the NFL, the Vikings’ offensive line gave up zero sacks of the relatively immobile Kirk Cousins (Although to his credit, Kirk Houdini’d his way out of at least one sack). That’s an amazing feat that I never dreamed possible after week one. Bravo to the big guys, you’ve shocked us in the best way possible over the past few games.
Cam Bynum - The NFC Defensive Player of the Week had the best game of his career, pulling in two interceptions, nine tackles, and a 92.0 overall PFF grade. Bynum picked off Purdy on back-to-back drives to end the 49er’s comeback attempt. What a game!
Harrison Smith - The Hitman continued his outstanding age-34 season with six tackles, a pass breakup, and caused the McCaffery fumble. He continues to be a key part of the defense, and is the leader of a strong safety group.
Jordan Hicks - Another great game from last week’s NFC Defensive Player of the Week, who batted down a pass to go along with his eight tackles and 74.8 PFF grade.
Greg Joseph - You’re not going to find a kicker that makes every single 50-yard kick, but you should be able to find one that makes every single extra point. If either team kicks better in this game, it could be a whole different story. Greg is still my guy, but he’s gotta make those extra points.
Red Zone Offense - As amazing as the offense was in this game, their two red zone failures almost came back to haunt them, had the defense not made a stop on the 49er’s last drive. At least we learned that the Tush Push won’t work for us...
Alexander Mattison, Cam Akers, and Ty Chandler - It was good to see all three of these backs get some work in. Mattison and Akers had eight and 10 carries respectively. Akers had two big plays in the second quarter, the first being 15-yard run that included two broken tackles, and the second was a screen pass on 3rd and 10 that Akers took down to the two-yard line after picking up the first down. Chandler got the ball twice, both resulting in explosive plays (even though the double pass got called back). If the Vikings continue to utilize all three running backs, I can see their overall effectiveness continue to increase.
Akayleb Evans - I thought Evans had a solid night, highlighted by a pass breakup on third down that forced a failed field goal attempt. It’s hard to tell who is responsible for what with this defense, but it’s seemed so far that the cornerback group hasn’t been the best, while the safeties have been quality. But on Monday, Evans played a good game.
Buy - This was the most convincing victory we’ve seen in the O’Connell era. I can’t think of another win, against a better opponent, that the Vikings won without dumb luck. They straight-up beat a Super Bowl contender by playing better than they did.
Sell - This victory is so convincing, in fact, that we should now see the Vikings as legitimate contenders. All right now, hold your horses. This was a great win, yes, but the Vikings have a lot of work to do if they want to be in the running for the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl. And that starts with sticking it to some of the mid-to-bad teams they have coming up on the schedule. If they can string together a few more convincing wins, then we can start talking playoffs.
That’s all I’ve got today, guys. Let me know who I missed in the comments.