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Minnesota Vikings News and Links, 2 January 2024

May your coffee kick in before reality does.

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Texas v Washington Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Well, if you don’t know by now, then I would suggest you take a look at some Washington Huskies game video if possible.

Michael Penix Jr is really good. He is not some folks favorite for whatever reason but he sure can sling it.

Washington QB Michael Penix’s all-time CFP performance was college football at its best

Be like Mike. Throw for 430 yards, two touchdowns and complete 76 of your passes against the No. 3 ranked team in the country.
Be like Mike. Thread the needle on a 29-yard touchdown on a crossing pattern while also dropping perfectly a 77-yard deep ball down the sideline.
Washington, underdogs in its last two games, is on its way to compete for the school’s first national championship in 33 years, with a second-year offensive guru of a coach, hotshot coordinator and quarterback who, few will argue, is the best player remaining in college football’s postseason.
“He made all the throws,” said Washington head coach Kalen DeBoer.
All of them. The post route. The go route. The corner. The cross.
A side-arm sling. A fastball rocket. A deep heave.
At one point, Penix completed 12 straight passes. He opened the second half with 11 consecutive completions, a stretch only ended by a dropped pass.
Penix finished with a volley of long bombs: two from 29 yards, a 77-yarder, one from 52 and two 19-yarders. His connection with his receivers on deep passes — especially in this building — gives you vibes of that 2019 LSU offense with Joe Burrow, who led the Tigers to a national title in the Superdome.
When the Huskies are humming, you’re toast. You can play great coverage and even get a finger on the ball — like Texas did on a tipped second-quarter touchdown pass — and you’ll still lose.

Some folks here think he is not going in the first round. As Rick James said “ Cocaine is a helluva of drug”.

I doubt he will make it to where the Vikings are currently sitting which is the #12 spot.

I kind of doubt that Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is going to have the guts to move on from Cousins so it is a moot point. I say that because it would be risky but the numbers may not align between the two parties.

We shall see.


Since yore last open thread

Green Bay Packers 33, Minnesota Vikings 10: New Year’s No-Show

Vikings Report Rewind LIVE: Packers at Vikings

Surprisingly, there’s still a path to the playoffs for the Vikings

Your Full Week 18 NFL Schedule

SB Nation Reacts Results: With the benefit of hindsight


Other Vikings News

Matthew Coller: The Vikings asked too much of Jaren Hall vs. Packers

Things went sideways from the outset of the Vikings’ 33-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers and the only plus side was that Vikings fans got to start the New Year’s Eve started early because the game was essentially over by halftime. Hall, who was pulled at halftime in favor of veteran Nick Mullens, finished with five completions on 10 pass attempts for 67 yards, one interception and three back-breaking sacks.
“If I was the coach I would have made the same decision,” a stunned Hall said in the locker room following the game
One of the issues that has continued to crop up amidst the merry-go-round of future XFL quarterbacks that the Vikings have run out since Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles is O’Connell’s offense requiring the quarterback to push the ball downfield. If Justin Jefferson had one of those meters that track how many miles he ran, it probably racked up quite the huge number while he was racing 20-30 yards away from the quarterback over and over. There was one successful screen but few other plays that seemed to call for quick passes from Hall. Instead it looked very similar to the offense that Dobbs and Mullens couldn’t master.
“The way I look at it, we have to find a way to make a couple of those early opportunities go as far as if the design of the play is there and the execution is right,” O’Connell said. “I trust our guys to go make the play and the throw and the catch when it’s there to be made. Just across the board just didn’t show up early enough in the game or consist enough throughout the night to avoid the outcome.”
Asked if it was an issue with Hall getting through progressions, O’Connell said:
“Just plays, early third down where maybe the number one progression might have been KJ working across the field, and we had our eyes in the wrong spot and just things that would’ve been hard to really predict. Then just about the time he found only rhythm on some throws and we moved the ball a little bit, then we took a sack to knock us backwards and kind of scratching uphill from there.”
Uphill seems to be exactly what all the QBs in this offense are fighting as they are required to play like Carson Palmer in order to succeed. The rookie couldn’t muster much explanation for why it went so badly.
“I’m not exactly sure what the case was for why it wasn’t clicking out there,” Hall said.
If Hall was going to succeed, it would have been in a game-manager type role, not savior. But it’s hard to game manage when there isn’t much in terms of support from the run game. Though that’s not because running back Ty Chandler played poorly against a Packers defense that had already given up 2,000-plus yards on the ground, rather that they didn’t stay with it.
Again following a loss O’Connell pledged to look internally for answers — kinda.
“Was it play calls?” He said. “Was it technique and fundamentals? Ownership the plan? You got to take inventory, and it’s not an easy process, not a fun process. But we as a coaching staff, starting with me, have to have the accountability and ownership.”

Here’s the Vikings’ (Highly Unlikely) Path to Making the Playoffs in Week 18

Vikings’ Loss Against Packers Improves Their Draft Positioning


O’Connell on Waiting to Announce Starting QB, Bouncing Back at Detroit

“I have made a decision on who’s going to start at quarterback for us this week. I have not had a chance yet with the players being off today to go through our face-to-face communication to let those players know. So I’m not going to announce that today,” O’Connell said. “[We have an] opportunity this week in the in the NFC North, going on the road against the division champions. Just played this team. We know them well.”
3. Continuing to develop Hall
“The decision was made to go with Jaren for a lot of reasons, one of which was we were excited about what Jaren’s potential is and we wanted to give him an opportunity,” O’Connell said. “We’ve dealt with some turnovers at the quarterback position, and Jaren was healthy and could have a full week of preparation and had some good weeks of preparation leading in, and it just didn’t translate to our offense having the kind of success we needed to have in a game where they were able to have some success, move the ball and score points.”

Lions coach Dan Campbell plans to play starters against Vikings

“I’ve got controlled fury, and I’m ready to go,” Campbell said. “I am absolutely ready to go, I don’t go the other way, the team won’t either. We’re on a mission and we’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves and wallow in everything. … We will use this as fuel, I got pure octane right now. I woke up, I’m ready.”

Vikings Expected to Part Ways With 1st-Rounder After $13 Million Bust

On The Star Tribune’s “Access Vikings” podcast, beat reporters Andrew Krammer and Ben Goessling revealed that while Davenport had $2 million in per-game roster bonuses to earn, the 28-year-old edge rusher has collected those game checks despite being on injured reserve.
The only exception for Davenport receiving those roster bonuses was if he was out with an injury to a shoulder that he had operated on twice in 2022, according to Krammer.
“The Vikings knew very well his injury history,” Krammer said. “They knew what they were getting into and they still decided to give him that contract.
The optics do not look good for the signing with Davenport playing just 118 snaps this season. Goessling and Krammer doubt that Davenport will be re-signed in the offseason.
“He’s getting paid the same even on injured reserve,” Goessling said. “I’d be surprised if that relationship continues beyond the rest of this year.”

Za’Darius Smith signed a one year $11,710,000 contract with the Cleveland Browns. Smith numbers may not be great but he has 6 sacks, 40 hurries, and 60 total pressures. He is the 19th ranked Edge rusher by PFF grade. He has the 9th highest pass rush grade. He was due 20M in salary, roster bonus, and incentives from the Vikings. I guess he was unwilling to take a pay cut from the team and would rather go elsewhere. Would have been nice to pay him the 13M they gave Davenport.



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