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SteelKing728

Quarter Analysis 1: Vikings 2020

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After 4 games, I'd like to know what you guys think about this team. What are the positives? The negatives? Who really surprised you this year or let you down so far?

What's your new expectation for the rest of the year?

I think it would be cool to do this every quarter of the season. Looking at weeks 9, 13 and 17.

Discuss!

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Overall at 1-3 pretty much all of us are disappointed in how the season has gone. It would have been great to build off of last year's success, but we cannot ignore the exodus our defense faced this offseason, the trade of Stefon Diggs, losing Defensive Coordinator George Edwards, and events that occurred in Minnesota during the offseason that were completely out of the hands of the Vikings.

What I'm happy about is that our top, core guys are still playing at a high level. Cook, Thielen and O'Neill on offense are all very good, with Cook probably considered an elite talent. Those guys help the offense go go go. Same with the defense. Kendricks, Harris and Smith are all having good years. They are the keys to success on defense this season.

I'm highly surprised at how good Justin Jefferson is this year. I expected his learning curve to be a lot longer and sit behind Johnson for half the year, but he's been phenomenal so far. Same with Garrett Bradbury. Dude looks completely different this year (except against Jeffrey Simmons week 3). Hope they both continue to play well!

I'm disappointed in Cousins but not surprised. His limitations are on full display this year whereas his strengths were highlighted under Stefanski last season. Our DTs and OG are both awful but to be expected. Otherwise, Irv Smith Jr has been a massive disappointment. TEs have a long learning curve but he clearly took a step back this season.

My prediction is that we'll be more competitive going forward, but ultimately, with so many new guys playing big roles this year, I don't think we get past 6-10 this year. There are just too many holes to build from last years fun season.

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It’s time to put Cleveland in at LG and slide Dozier to RG. 

Samia needs to be taken off of the field. You see flashes of what he can do, but his fundamentals and footwork are terrible which is leading to balance issues. Not having OTAs and mini camps is really showing for him. 

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When a rookie WR is pretty clearly your best performer, that’s typically not a good sign. 
 

Hunter, Barr, and Pierce probably make the defense a little better, but they have looked more lost than I’ve ever seen a Zimmer defense look. Worse than in his first season.

 

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Posted (edited)

While it's certainly been disappointing, they have made progress.  The lack of a real offseason and preseason did a number on them especially.  I think Zimmer is a coach that really needs the preseason, so he can put in practice what he preaches to his team constantly.  He isn't one that can just change what he does on the fly and make improvisational game plans and calls.  He wants his players to play a certain way and is a stickler for details, so that generally takes a little time to instill. 

I'm certain some around here don't like that method and think he should be able to be like the young whipper-snappers and be whipping the ball all over the field, defense-be damned, but he wants to keep the clock moving and keep the games close, because he believe that's how they'll have the most success in the end.

In the end, progress and improvement is what matters to me...I still think they have a solid chance to finish around 8-8, 9-7.  I was hoping for at least a 2-2 start, but didn't get that.  Will 9-7 be enough to sneak in the playoffs?  I don't know, but looking on the bright side, thankfully, most of these games thus far have been out of conference, so won't significantly impact tiebreaking situations.  They still got that opportunity to make some hay.      

Edited by swede700

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2 minutes ago, SemperFeist said:

The loss to Tennessee is going to hurt at the end of the year. 

You may be right, especially if they do end up 9-7, because that would have been 10-6.  But it is what it is.  But, even so, it won't be as devastating a loss as that Bills game was a couple of years ago.

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My analysis: The Vikings have won 1 game and lost 3.  They haven't played very well during the 1st four weeks, especially the defense.  Will they get better?  Probably not...but I prefer to have the delusion that they will end up with more wins than losses.  Denial is a super power!!!

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29 minutes ago, SemperFeist said:

But, sure, it’s the rookie who’s “clearly” the best performer. 

Is there a reason you are being condescending? I was literally referencing the PFF grade tweet that you just posted.

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, swede700 said:

You may be right, especially if they do end up 9-7, because that would have been 10-6.  But it is what it is.  But, even so, it won't be as devastating a loss as that Bills game was a couple of years ago.

With 7 playoff teams per conference 9-7 might get the team into the playoffs. At most they would have five conference losses so they would win a lot of the tiebreak scenarios with other 9-7 teams. Division record is going to be important if they want to win a tie break with a team in the division. I assume first place in the division will be well clear of nine wins but it is possible second and third both finish 9-7.

Right now the Vikings are just a single win behind the third wildcard position and would win the tiebreak if they made up that game.

Edited by Cearbhall

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Posted (edited)

... accidental double post

Edited by JDBrocks

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Right now the Viking's opponents in their three losses are a combined 9-1. It would seem that the Vikings are not the only team struggling against those opponents. The Colts only loss came in week one, which was the first game Rivers was their QB; week one without preseason was tough on teams going through transition. 

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There are some positives:

Cook is earning his contract 

Jefferson is the truth

The offensive line has played respectably outside of Samia

Harry, Kendricks and Ngakoue are all playing at high levels. 

The team has had leads in every game its played, and Cousins has rebounded well from the horrible performance against the Colts. 

I think that we are going to see a ton of ups and downs from this team moving forward. I think Cleveland will get pressed into service soon, and it may be good for him to get a feeling for what NFL defensive linemen are. If he can play at an average level, that will be huge. 

The negatives are many though:

Our starting DT's are two of the worst in the league. Our linebacking group is very thin. The young CBs are having a lot of growing pains, and Mike Hughes may be another high round CB that doesn't get a second contract with the team. 

Cousins is who we knew he was. We're going to get some good games and some stinkers. 

The team doesn't appear equipped to hold on to leads and close out games. 

 

The next four games are going to be killers. 

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