Despite a seemingly endless barrage of injuries and setbacks, the Minnesota Vikings are the only team left standing undefeated after week five.
Yesterday’s contest at U.S. Bank Stadium was another statement game for the purple as they walloped the Texans from the start of the game all the way to the end. Special teams, defense, and offense were firing on all cylinders in what culminated in a complete team effort en route to their fifth win of the season. Here are some takeaways from the Vikings week five win over the Texans.
Cordarrelle Patterson and Adam Thielen stepped up big
Without star receiver Stefon Diggs in the mix due to injury, Patterson and Thielen made the most of their opportunities with two outstanding efforts. Thielen and Bradford have made for a solid connection in the weeks leading up to yesterday’s game, but the connection between the two yesterday was clinic-like. Thielen ran some of the prettiest routes you will see in the NFL and Bradford rewarded him with dime after dime. When it was all said and done, Thielen put up the best statistical game of his career, finishing with seven catches for 127 yards and a touchdown.
Lined up opposite of Thielen was Patterson who ran like a man possessed every time he had the ball in his hands. Bubble screens on first down were turning into big gains as Patterson would not be denied his yards after the catch. Patterson even made a sensational touchdown catch in the latter stages of the game to put the dagger on the Texans once and for all. Of all the things going well this year for the Vikings, the inclusion of Patterson back into this offense has to be near the very top.
Sam Bradford has best game yet as a Viking
What Bradford did to the previously top-ranked pass defense was nothing short of spectacular. To do it without his best target in Diggs was even more impressive. Week in and week out Bradford is putting up stellar numbers without giving up a single turnover. His toughness is second to none, hanging in the pocket and dropping dimes knowing that he’s about to get rocked a split-second later. It’s about time for Bradford to start getting his name thrown in the mix of MVP candidates as he has been close to perfect in his four starts as a Viking.
Defense continues complete domination
Every week this defense makes plays and smothers the opposing offense, making their performance against the Texans yesterday seem predictable. Quarterback Brock Osweiler could not get comfortable in the pocket and his receivers were completely shut-down by the Vikings secondary. Star running back Lamar Miller was only able to gain 20 yards rushing after gaining at least 80 yards in his previous four games. It’s becoming difficult to put into words just how impressive this defense has been, as I’ve never seen this level of excellence in all of my years of watching this Vikings franchise.
Onto the bye week
The Vikings have a much needed bye week coming that will hopefully provide enough time for the banged-up players to get healthy for week seven’s matchup against the previously undefeated Philadelphia Eagles. It will also provide extended time for Zimmer to gameplan against the Philadelphia offense led by rookie quarterback Carson Wentz.
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