Five weeks ago, when the Minnesota Vikings’ record sat at 1-4, the fanbase morale was at an extreme low. Nothing was going the way of the Vikings; multiple turnovers a game, the defense was getting exposed, The Lions were actually playing like a legitimate playoff team, and then Justin Jefferson got hurt.
Things looked bleak, man.
Then, suddenly, with a win over the 49ers, we were given a glimmer of hope, only for it to be stripped away the next week when Kirk went down. After all that, never in a million years did we expect what’s transpiring before our eyes at this moment: The Dobbs Effect.
Somehow, despite a horrible start to the season, despite losing Kirk and Jefferson, The Vikings are now fielding a better team than they did with all of their offensive starters. It seems inevitable that Dobbs will snap back to reality at some point, but it feels like this team has the potential to make a playoff run.
Backed by popular sentiment as the best story in the NFL, the Vikings are impossible not to root for and have become must-see TV, as evidenced by the NFL opting not to flex out either of their upcoming primetime games after a tough start to the year.
Dobbs is just fun to watch; I wrote down a quote that one of the Fox commentators said during the game on Sunday that I felt described Dobbs accurately. “This guy is just downright slippery, gelatinous.”
I would agree that “gelatinous” is a good word. Dobbs’ story is very exciting, and as loyal fans, we should just enjoy the ride, wherever it may take us. This week’s Stock Market Report is below.
Blue Chip Stocks
TJ Hockenson - Hockenson was on fire from the start in this one, despite playing through what looked like some pretty severe rib pain. He ended with 11 catches for 134 yards and a touchdown, posting an incredible 93.3 overall PFF grade. Its good to see Hock playing so well as of late, considering how suspect he was over the first few games.
Josh Dobbs - The magic continues! Josh Dobbs has brought a different kind of energy to this offense that we’ve never seen before. Like I said in the intro, Dobbs has a way of getting out of the pocket to make big time throws. For example, on a third down in the second quarter, Dobbs was given plenty of time in the pocket due to solid blocking by the offensive line. no one was open, and Dobbs was able to sense the pass rush closing in, slipped out to the right, and floated a ball to TJ Hockenson, whose defender had moved off him to stop Josh from running for a first down. And, of course, his touchdown run was incredible. What a time to be alive.
Danielle Hunter - Hunter has been dominant all season, leading the league in both sacks and tackles for a loss. On Sunday, he continued his rampage with a sack and two other QB hits. DJ Wonnum has been doing a great job (one sack against the Saints), but If Marcus Davenport can ever stay healthy, the Vikings would have a scary pair of edge rushers.
Jordan Addison - Addison had a solid day, bringing in four catches for 69 yards. His highlight reel included a juggling catch on a somewhat dangerous throw from Josh Dobbs that picked up 27 yards.
Ty Chandler - Chandler scored his first NFL touchdown from two yards out on a direct snap. He could’ve had another touchdown if it weren’t for a holding penalty. I think we’re all hoping Chandler gets more work moving forward.
Akayleb Evans and Meckhi Blackmon - These two young cornerbacks had an excellent outing against the Saints. They were the top two graded defenders on the team according to PFF, coming in at 83.1 and 76.6, respectively. Blackmon snagged his first career interception, and Evans didn’t allow a single reception in coverage, highlighted by a hit on Michael Thomas that made him drop a pass.
Greg Joseph - It might be time to look for a new kicker. Joseph had an opportunity to put the game out of reach, and he missed it, just like he did against the 49ers a few weeks ago. The defense has bailed him out with interceptions both times, but there’s no need for this.
Buy / Sell
Buy: The first half offense. Wow! The offense was nearly unstoppable in the first half, scoring a touchdown on three straight drives before halftime. With a 24-3 lead going into the locker room, this looked like it was going to be the signature beatdown of a pretty good Saints team that this team needed to be rightfully acknowledged among the best teams in the league.
Sell: The second half offense. And then... what? After the first drive of the second half resulted in a field goal, O’Connell took his foot off the gas entirely, going into “play not to lose” mode. It just doesn’t make sense to me... why let up? The Saints had no answers in the first half, why not continue to beat the crap out of them?
Buy: The 2023 draft class. Addison and Blackmon are both studs. Jaren Hall looked good before he got hurt. UDFA Ivan Pace has played an important role on defense, and fellow UDFA NaJee Thompson had a nice tackle on punt coverage last week. The Vikings have gotten value from every draft pick and UDFA signing that made the roster. Considering how his first draft went, I’d say Kwesi did a pretty good job on this one.
Thanks for reading, everyone. Add your stock assessments in the comments.