This Offense Is The Real Deal
- The Vikings offense is the real deal. After watching how badly the Rams struggled without O’Connell running their offense and how good the Vikings looked, it is reasonable to wonder if O’Connell was the reason their offense was so good last year.
Justin Jefferson Continues His Dominance Of Opposing Defenses
- Justin Jefferson is just about unstoppable and his first two years in the league were not a fluke. O’Connell was able to motion him all over the field and get him into favorable matchups consistently. He finished with 9 catches for 184 yards and 2 TDs.
Pass Rush Looked Good, Pass Coverage Looked Even Better
- With the way the Vikings’ pass rush looked it would be easy to say that the pass rush was very effective due to the fact that Rodgers was on the ground early and often. However, at least a few of these sacks were due to excellent coverage on the back end.
Harrison Smith Is Not Slowing Down
- Even though he enters this season at 33 years old, Harrison Smith looked great in this new defensive scheme. He made a couple nice plays in the 2nd quarter to force a stop near the goal line and Zadarius Smith made a tackle to cap off that drive and force a turnover on downs. He was also able to get an interception on a pass that Rodgers overthrew.
Cam Dantzler Has His Swagger Back
- Cam Dantzler made several nice plays throughout the game but a couple of his biggest plays came late in the game. He was able to get a tackle on two consecutive plays and keep the offensive player in bounds. This kept the clock rolling and ultimately sealed the victory for the Vikings.
Pass Rush Was Dominant
- Like was mentioned before at least a couple of the sacks were coverage sacks but the defensive line and EDGE rushers specifically lived in the opposing backfield. They consistently made the plays they should while making some plays that were exceptional as well. They had a total of 4 sacks and they came from 4 different players (Jordan Hicks, Danielle Hunter, Zadarius Smith, and DJ Wonnum)
Dalvin Cook Looked Rejuvenated
- It could have been that he was wearing his college #4 but Dalvin Cook looked great in this new offense. He was able to consistently make positive yardage and had a total of 20 carries for 90 yards, which makes for an average of 4.5 yards per carry. The offense did not need to rely heavily on him for this game but his production made the play action passing game much more effective. He also had 3 catches for 18 yards.
Cousins Won The Battle Of The QBs By A Landslide In This Game
- Kirk Cousins looked better in every aspect of this game when compared to Aaron Rodgers. At one point later in the game Kirk’s QBR (126.7) was more than twice that of Aaron’s (63.3). Kirk went 23/32 for 277 yards and 2 TDs while Aaron was 22/34 for 195 yards, 0 TDs, and 1 INT. He also got sacked 3 more times than Kirk during the course of the game.
Former Packers Take It To Their Old Team
- Zadarius Smith made several big plays, including a sack and delivering a nasty blow when Aaron Rodgers was one of the lead blockers on a screen play. He finished the night with 2 tackles and 1 sack but his presence was felt all over the field. Chandon Sullivan had a nice game as well with 4 total tackles and he nearly had an INT when Rodgers threw it right to him, through the hands of the Rookie Watson.
Hicks Came To Play
- In what most would have considered to be a small signing this offseason, the Vikings got a steal in Jordan Hicks. He led the team in tackles with 14 total as well as 1 sack. He was dynamic against the pass and against the run.
Overall, the Vikings looked dynamic and nearly unstoppable on offense. The O’Connell offensive system translated well to the Vikings and the weapons he now has at his disposal. The main weakness of this team in the past few years has definitely been the defense and not being able to rely on the kicker in high pressure moments. Both of these units were much improved in this first game of the season and it makes it much more believable that this team could truly be something great.