The Minnesota Vikings were about to put the finishing touches on their first two-score win in what feels like a decade when the unthinkable happened. Kirk Cousins, the guy who has never missed a game due to injury in his entire career, tore his Achilles tendon while stepping up to make a play. Unlike when Aaron Rodgers suffered the same injury a few weeks ago, Kirk didn’t have anybody tackling him and I’m not sure he even stepped awkwardly. His Achilles just popped. No matter what your stance is on Kirk and the Vikings, it sucks to see such a good person and player go down like that. Kirk will continue to be present as a leader to this team, but his absence will be felt on the field.
But hey, there’s still plenty to be positive about, right? The Vikings beat the Packers soundly at Lambeau, a feat that doesn’t happen too often. They also just traded for Josh Dobbs, a guy who could give the offense some life if he’s called upon. Don’t give up yet! This week’s Stock Market Report follows.
Blue Chip Stocks
Kirk Cousins - Oh Kirk, I’m gonna miss you, buddy. Cousins followed up one of the best games of his career last week with another blue chip worthy performance against the Packers. Kirk threw for 274 yards, two touchdowns, and no picks, good for a 90.1 overall grade from PFF. My favorite play of the afternoon came right after the Metellus interception, when Kirk threw a perfect ball to Jordan Addison who had cooked Jaire Alexander (who deserved it, by the way). If this was Kirk’s last game for the Vikings, he had a nice run, especially under Kevin O’Connell.
Jordan Addison - Aside from the aforementioned cooking of Jaire Alexander (who deserved it, by the way), Addison had yet another impressive game in the absence of Justin Jefferson. I can’t wait to see what JJ and Addison can do together now that Addison’s been more established.
KJ Osborn - Osborn was reliable all day, it reminded me of how he was playing at the end of last season. He was one yard shy of a hundred, leading all receivers in yardage. O’Connell gave him a game ball after the game as well, one that I think he deserved.
Josh Metellus - Every week it seems like a new defensive player has the best game of his career, and this week it was Metellus. His interception and return was a thing of beauty, and he also led the team with eight tackles and played all but one defensive snap.
DJ Wonnum - Wonnum has strung together some good games in the absence of Marcus Davenport, and on Sunday he had two sacks.
Mekhi Blackmon - Blackmon didn’t play a single defensive snap against the 49ers... and I doubt that’ll ever happen again. In 21 snaps against the Packers, Blackmon was credited with three pass breakups and accumulated a 90.1 PFF grade, second only to Danielle Hunter. It’s encouraging to see him and Akayleb Evans play so well.
Harrison Phillips - Phillips played a solid game that was highlighted by his third down run-stuff at the goal line. The Packers did wind up scoring on fourth down, but this was a huge play. He compiled a team-best 86.2 PFF run defense grade. Phillips deserves credit for his quality play thus far.
Greg Joseph - Greg had his second concerning game in as many weeks, missing another field goal and having another attempt blocked. It’s fair to assume that the offense, with whoever the quarterback is, will be less effective and will probably give Greg more opportunities for field goals as the games go on. Joseph needs to clean it up, or he might be out of a job.
Jaren Hall - So far, I’ve heard that the plan is still to start Hall against the Falcons, despite the Vikings trading for Joshua Dobbs. Hall will have an opportunity to showcase what he can do in an actual game, so I’m choosing to buy low on him today. His college highlights are impressive, and he showed improvement as the preseason went on this summer. Here’s hoping that he can make something happen on Sunday.
Buy / Sell
Buy - Losing Kirk Cousins has doomed this season. Aside from being an amazing player, Kirk is also loved and respected by everyone inside and outside of the Vikings’ organization. Losing Kirk sucks, and no matter how you feel about him as a player, you can’t deny that he’s the heartbeat of the team.
Sell - Losing Kirk Cousins has doomed this season. But at the same time, Kirk could serve as martyr for his team as they continue forward. Jaren Hall (or Josh Dobbs) is stepping into a great situation, one where he’ll be protected by a quality offensive line and has some of the league’s best weapons to throw to. I can see the next nine games being either disastrous or surprisingly great.
Buy - Kevin O’Connell will keep this team fighting for a playoff spot. The astounding culture that has been built around these players and this team is a culture that doesn’t give up, no matter what. While it might seem wise from a business standpoint to tank and sell off assets, I have the feeling that Kwesi and O’Connell are going to stand behind their guys and continue to push forward, no matter what.
Sell - The Vikings will make the playoffs. While they are in playoff position right now as the seventh seed, It’s going to take a lot to stay in that spot. We shouldn’t rule the playoffs out quite yet, but we should be cautious not to get our hopes up unless we see consistent, quality play from the running game and whomever the quarterback may be.
That’s all I can do today, folks. Don’t forget to add your assessment below.