After taking a few days to digest this horrible game, I’ve gained some clarity on the situation. Yes, Monday was a trainwreck. It was, in all honesty, one of the most disappointing showings I’ve ever witnessed from the Vikings. The Vikings got humiliated at home, in primetime, by an opponent that they easily could have beaten. Yes, it truly was pathetic. But as I think through it, here’s where I stand today; They’re still at .500. They have a bye week to reset. Jefferson is coming back. They control their own playoff destiny. And, most of all, they’re working with a backup quarterback, and which of the three backup quarterbacks will start against the Raiders is still up in the air. As putrid as the loss to the Bears was, there is still hope for this team. Making the playoffs is realistic, winning a playoff game or two is less realistic, but I’m choosing to enjoy whatever comes our way over the next month or so. Let’s forget about the Bears and the Broncos, the 1-4 start, losing Kirk and JJ, and the turnovers. There’s nothing they can do about the past; they must forge ahead, and try to give themselves a chance in the playoffs. Your Stock Market Report is below.
Blue Chip Stocks
Brian Flores - Flores called another excellent game. His defense never allowed a touchdown, minimized the damage from four turnovers, and created two turnovers of their own. Flores’ defense kept the Vikings in the game when the offense could do nothing. I don’t care that he didn’t blitz on the Bears’ last possession. The reality is that the defense didn’t allow a touchdown all night, and the offense lost this game despite an amazing defensive effort. Flores has been blue chip worthy all season.
Josh Metellus - Metellus was flying all over the place on Monday night, racking up nine total tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble, culminating into a 71.0 PFF grade. Metellus is so underrated, and his ability to play anywhere on the filed is a big reason why the defense is so successful.
Danielle Hunter - Another day at the office for Hunter. He brought in another 1.5 sacks to bring his season total to 13.5, tied for most in the NFL. He forced a fumble on Justin Fields, which the Vikings recovered. Are the Vikings willing to pay the price to keep him here next season?
Sheldon Day - Seldon had a career night, creeping around in the backfield often, resulting in one official TFL. He disrupted multiple plays, and almost had a sack on Justin Fields. Day also recovered a fumble. Good work Sheldon!
Camryn Bynum - Bynum continued his solid campaign, compiling a team-best 81.5 PFF grade. Why did they draft Lewis Cine, again?
Brandon Powell - Powell gave some juice to the offense on a night where they couldn’t get anything going. His catch before halftime was absolutely majestic. He also broke a Bears player’s helmet, which is kind of cool. Powell has been a great offseason pickup, and I think I speak for the majority when I say I’d like him back next year.
Josh Dobbs - The Passtronaut has officially grounded. Things fell apart completely for Josh Dobbs on Monday night, with his four (almost five) interceptions bringing the Dobbs hype train to a screeching halt. I said last week that if Dobbs cleaned up his turnover problem and leaned into his ability to make unscripted plays work, he could lead the team to the playoffs. Well, neither of those things happened on Monday night, and the Vikings lost to one of the worst teams in the league. I don’t know if they’ll start Dobbs after the bye, but he may have played his way out of a starting job. However, as poorly as Dobbs played, he’s not the only one to blame for his lackluster performance...
Kevin O’Connell - This was not Kevin’s best work. His offense looked unprepared, and what was prepared didn’t work with Josh Dobbs’ skillset. The Vikings got the ball back up 10-9, in Bears territory, with an opportunity to put a dagger in them and come away with a sloppy, undeserved victory, but a victory nonetheless. Instead, O’Connell decided to run it straight into the line twice, then a screen play that hadn’t been working all night. That sequence was tough to watch. O’Connell is a great head coach and offensive wizard, as we’ve seen at times during his tenure with the Vikings. He needs the bye to regroup and get his swagger back.
Buy / Sell
Buy: This is the most embarrassing loss of the O’Connell era. The losses to the Cowboys and Packers last year were bad. Losing in the playoffs to the Giants was even worse. But this, this was the epitome of embarassing losses, mostly because the defense played so well, that literally all the offense had to do was not turn the ball over. The Bears are horrible, way worse than all of the previously mentioned teams. Just embarrassing, man.
Sell: This loss defines the season. In some ways it does, but I still have hope. As I mentioned in the intro, the Vikings still control their own destiny. With the Seahawks’ loss to the Cowboys on Thursday, the Vikings actually moved up a spot into the sixth seed. We can’t give up yet!
Thanks for tuning in, leave your assessments in the comments!