At last, the Viking’s streak of losses came to an end yesterday as they beat the Arizona Cardinals 30-26 in front of a raucous U.S. Bank Stadium crowd. Not only did the win end the midseason slump, but also kept the Vikings playoff aspirations intact, making the upcoming Thanksgiving game against the Detroit Lions another must-win situation. Here is a breakdown of yesterday’s big win over the Cardinals.
Vikings register first multi-sack game since week 5 against the Texans
One major-component to the Viking’s early success that had been sorely lacking in the four games that followed was an effective pass-rush. There were many other reasons that the Vikings were coming up short time and time again, but the lack of penetration on the defensive line was certainly one of them. Yesterday’s game reminded fans just how dominant this line can be when they are playing at their best, and unsurprisingly we came out on top because of it.
If the Vikings are to get a win-streak going before the playoffs, the defensive line will need to continue making its presence felt early and often to prevent opposing quarterbacks from developing any sort of rhythm.
Cordarrelle Patterson continues to shine
During the offseason, my optimism that Patterson would reemerge in this offense was mocked heavily by my fellow Vikings fans. Today they are singing a much different tune. Not only has Patterson continued his excellence as a kick returner, he has found a niche in the Vikings offense that we have not seen since his rookie year.
When teams key in on Stefon Diggs like the Cardinals did on Sunday, the field opens up dramatically for guys like Patterson and Adam Thielen. And just as they have done all year in those situations, they step up in a big way.
Xavier Rhodes puts on Pro Bowl performance
Year after year Viking’s fans have been hoping for a breakout season from Xavier Rhodes. That season appears to upon us.
Rhodes had his best game of his professional career this Sunday after picking off two Carson Palmer passes and taking one of them to the house. Those two interceptions matched his career total through his first three seasons in the NFL, a stat that had been brought up ad nauseam by his critics.
Not only is Rhodes shutting down opposing team’s top targets, he has become a tackling machine on run plays, a rare combination among cornerbacks in today’s NFL. If Rhodes does not earn a trip to the Pro Bowl this season, we may as well just do away with the whole event.
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