Unlike the sad, awful performance the Minnesota Vikings gave is in Week 4, in Week 5 there were a lot of players that actually played really well! That means that we’re actually going to have some competition for our Game Ball for the victory over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.
Since we have no shortage of candidates this week, let’s get right to them, shall we?
Anthony Barr, LB – Though he didn’t really show up in the stat sheet. . .he was only listed as having three combined tackles in this one. . .he did make one of the biggest plays of the game with the safety he registered on Jon Hilliman. The Vikings could have lost some serious momentum in that spot after fumbling the ball away at the Giants’ 1-yard line, but Barr (and a host of others) made sure that didn’t happen. He also got a nifty interception at the end, though it ultimately didn’t mean a whole lot.
Dalvin Cook, RB – Ho, hum, just another huge performance from the guy that’s quickly moving up the list of best running backs in the NFL. He had his fourth 100-yard effort in five games, rushing for 132 yards on 21 carries. He also kept up his strong showing in the pass game, catching six balls for another 86 yards. Good things happen when the Vikings get Dalvin Cook going, and he was definitely going on Sunday.
Kirk Cousins, QB – As Ted said on both Good Morning, Gjallarhorn and in his TED Talk, there wasn’t anybody that needed a good game on the roster. . .and maybe in the entire league. . .than Kirk Cousins. He set a season-high for passing yardage in a game (by halftime), and though he did take a few sacks, he also looked better than he has in any game this year. He completed 22-of-27 passes for 306 yards and a pair of scores.
The Minnesota Vikings defeated the lowly New York Giants in Week 5. Such a matchup is exactly what the NFC North franchise needed amid continued controversy. With the rumor mill churning at a rapid speeds in Minnesota these days, the Vikings have quickly become one of the more intriguing teams from around the league — for both the good and the bad so it seems.
At 3-2 on the season while playing in arguably the toughest division in the entire NFL at the moment, the Vikings will need to pull it together quickly if Minnesota has any shot at reaching the postseason in 2019.
Can Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins effectively lead the Minnesota offense?
The Minnesota Vikings infamously signed former Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins to a three-year, $84 million contract ahead of last season. Despite an impressive individual effort from Cousins throughout the 2018-19 regular season, the Vikings notably missed out on the postseason despite coming up just shy of a Super Bowl appearance the year before with a very similar roster and journeyman quarterback Case Keenum under center.
If the Vikings are going to reach the postseason in 2019-20, Cousins not only has to be at his best, but the former Redskins signal caller will be forced to lead a well-rounded attack on the offensive side of the football.
Will Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs last the entire season in Minnesota?
Causing the majority of the controversy stemming from Minnesota this week, veteran Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs may not last the season with the NFC North franchise. With the NFL trade deadline looming, it has appeared as though Diggs would like out of Minnesota as the team’s offense continues to struggle — when the Vikings aren’t playing the aforementioned New York Giants, that is.
Although Diggs continues to say that he wants to remain with the Vikings, most recently during his postgame press conference at his locker following the lopsided win over the Giants, the prolific pass catcher is still playing second fiddle to fellow Minnesota wide out Adam Thielen, who exploded statistically on Sunday afternoon after doing a little complaining himself throughout the week prior. As a result, it remains to be seen as to whether this story has a happy ending for both Diggs and the Vikings.
Is Vikings running back Dalvin Cook the most important piece of the puzzle in Minnesota?
A simple question should receive a simple answer, and in this case, that simple answer is yes. Now healthy and as dominant as ever since joining the NFL ranks a few seasons ago, former Florida State standout and Minnesota Vikings starting running back Dalvin Cook is the most important piece of the puzzle for this franchise.
Even with Cousins leading the way in terms of the passing attack, it is hard to effectively throw the football if a team cannot run it. With Cook healthy and performing at a high level on a weekly basis, his ability to run the ball as a workhorse back can surely lead the Vikings in the right direction. It is also worth noting that an effective run game will slow things down on offense, which typically leads to heightened defensive metrics as well.
Danielle Hunter, DE – Hunter continued his reign of terror through the first five weeks, recording two sacks of Daniel Jones and tying for the team lead in tackles on the afternoon. He’s now tied for the most sacks accumulated by any NFL player before the age of 25, and he’s got plenty of time to take it for himself.
Adam Thielen, WR – Thielen was the big beneficiary of the big game by Cousins, as he put together his best overall performance of the year as well. He was over 100 yards by halftime, and though he only caught one pass in the second half, that catch was the second of his two touchdowns on the day. He finished with seven catches for 130 yards and both of Cousins’ touchdown tosses.
So, who do you think gets the Game Ball this week, folks?
Week 1 – Anthony Harris, S
Week 2 – Dalvin Cook, RB
Week 3 – Dalvin Cook, RB
Week 4 – Nobody (because everyone was awful)