Vikings Insider, The GM’s View
Ahead of the season, I predicted the Vikings can be 4-2 thru six video games after a loss in Miami. Neatly, now not so speedy, as there now seems to be a just right alternative for the Red to return out of South Seashore on Sunday afternoon with a W for a great 5-1 get started.
That might imply the Vikings may pass 6-6 over the remainder 12 video games and end 10-7, which in all probability can be just right sufficient for a wild card spot. A 7-5 report would deliver an excellent likelihood of profitable the department at 12-5, and going 8-4 over that extend (for a 13-4 common season mark) most likely would clutch a best two NFC seed and homefield merit within the playoffs. That’s how important a win in Miami may well be for Minnesota.
Harm stories will also be deceptive, however the Vikings indubitably are the more fit group heading into this matchup with a Dolphins group that gained their first 3 video games—together with a victory over Buffalo, possibly the NFL’s very best group. Miami additionally had an exciting 42-38 comeback win in Baltimore, however all in their successes got here sooner than quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s concussion in Week 4 in Cincinnati.
Miami had 12 avid gamers who both didn’t apply or had been restricted on Thursday, together with their best two quarterbacks in Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater. Miami Trainer Mike McDaniel says Tagovailoa won’t play this week, and Bridgewater goes to again up rookie Skylar Thompson who performed all however one snap in remaining week’s loss to the Jets and had two expensive turnovers. I believe it’s strange if Bridgewater doesn’t get started when he’s wholesome sufficient to be the backup this week, however the Vikings gained’t argue with McDaniel’s pondering as they’d love to stand a rookie QB in his first get started somewhat than the ex-Viking in Bridgewater who would like a shot at beating his former group.
Additionally important is that Miami’s very best offensive lineman — take on Terron Armstead — didn’t apply Thursday because of a toe harm, and two different key avid gamers — Professional Bowl nook Xavien Howard (groin) and main rusher Raheem Mostert (knee) — had been restricted in apply.
All of it provides as much as the Vikings being preferred at the highway towards a group with a profitable report, a transparent mirrored image of the harm problems in Miami, particularly at QB.
Vikings Face Wounded Dolphins
Listed below are my keys to the Vikings beating the Dolphins:
1. A robust cross rush is vital, together with a heavier blitz package deal than we’ve noticed: the Vikings will have to drive Thompson if he certainly is the starter. The Vikings are averaging just a little over two sacks consistent with sport and now not sufficient drive total, so it’s time for Za’Darius Smith (3.5 sacks), Danielle Hunter (2 sacks) and Corporate to crank it up, particularly if Armstead is out or now not at complete power. Defensive coordinator Ed Donatell must make the most of his very best blitzers — particularly Harrison Smith and Eric Kendricks —widely on this sport.
2. Corners want lend a hand on two dynamic receivers: Cam Dantzler is coming off a great sport, and Patrick Peterson has performed smartly this 12 months, however they’ll have their fingers complete with two speedsters in Tyreek Hill (38 catches for 524 yards, 2 TDs) and Jaylen Waddle (24 for 404, 3 TDs). Protection lend a hand might be wanted this week, and Peterson can’t chew on double strikes as he has a few occasions this season. Vikings second-round pick out Andrew Sales space Jr. has been a complete pass in apply this week, so he can upload high quality intensity within the secondary.
3. Beef up crimson zone protection: the Vikings have allowed a landing in all 8 crimson zone possessions for warring parties over the last 3 video games, they usually’re ranked 29th on this class with 10 TDs allowed in 13 crimson zone journeys so far. Miami has scored TDs on 10 of 15 crimson zone alternatives to rank sixth-best within the league.
4. Prevent the lulls on offense and protection: the Vikings wish to steer clear of the down stretches that virtually value them towards the Saints and Bears the previous two weeks, they usually will have to steer clear of falling in the back of via two touchdowns early as they did towards the Lions. Trainer Kevin O’Connell emphasizes consistency all through video games, as used to be the case towards the Packers within the opener and now not within the following video games.
5. Kirk Cousins play 4 quarters like he did at the first 3 drives remaining week: We’re now not inquiring for a 17 for 17 get started once more, however the Dolphins rank No. 28 towards the cross, which must provide an excellent chance for Cousins and the offense to have a just right day. If Howard is banged up, Justin Jefferson must be prolific, and although he’s doubled, he must be in movement or within the backfield continuously to have a greater likelihood to get open. And Dalvin Prepare dinner, Adam Thielen, Okay.J. Osborn, and Irv Smith Jr. must have a number of alternatives to polish as O’Connell continues to combine the run and cross successfully, particularly in end-of-game scenarios the place Cousins and the offense were seize (and Prepare dinner says he’s by no means misplaced in his place of birth of Miami going again to his highschool and faculty days).
6. Particular groups get again to stellar play: remaining week used to be the primary down week on this space, and the kicking duo of Greg Joseph and Ryan Wright wish to up their sport in comparison to remaining week (particularly Joseph together with his 50-plus-yard box objectives the place he used to be very good remaining 12 months however is just one of five this season). The protection devices additionally fell off towards the Bears, and a box objective used to be blocked.
7. Deal with the warmth and don’t be desirous about bye week plans: the forecast is for mid-80s which might be an adjustment for the Vikings from the cool temps they’ve practiced on this week. Holding the payers hydrated and rotating the defensive linemen and outdoor linebackers/edge rushers might be vital, in conjunction with the operating backs and receivers. And I all the time fearful that avid gamers would stay up for the following week’s bye. That’s a problem for O’Connell to stay the avid gamers targeted at the process to hand, which I’m assured he’ll take care of with the group off to a super get started this season.
Jeff’s Prediction: I see an in depth sport in spite of Miami being banged up. The Vikings catch a ruin in now not having to stand Tua, who began the season scorching and most likely with different key Dolphins lacking or lower than 100%. With 5-1 of their points of interest, the Vikings protection forces a few Thompson turnovers, and Cousins and the offense take merit. Vikings win 27-24 on a past due Joseph box objective.
Across the NFL Observations:
1. A number of nice matchups this week led via Buffalo at Kansas Town, Josh Allen vs. Patrick Mahomes in a rematch in their exciting divisional playoff sport remaining January gained via the Chiefs 42-36 in OT. I be expecting some other shootout between the NFL’s best two QBs this season, and this time Allen and the Expenses succeed.
2. Dallas at Philadelphia—is that this when the NFL’s remaining unbeaten group, the Eagles, fall to 4-1 Dallas and their very good protection that has now not allowed a couple of landing in any sport this season? I don’t suppose Cowboys backup QB Cooper Rush—5-0 in his occupation begins, together with 4 immediately this season in reduction of Dak Prescott– goes to win in Philly. I see Jalen Hurts making sufficient performs operating and throwing (to his very good receivers) to get the Sunday evening win sooner than the crazed Eagles fanatics.
3. Jets at Packers—the Vikings would like to look a New York double on the expense of Inexperienced Bay after the Giants beat the Pack in London remaining week. The Jets are stepped forward however now not sufficient to win at Lambeau until Aaron Rodgers’ thumb, which led to him to leave out some apply time, is an actual downside come Sunday. The Inexperienced Bay protection is simply too proficient to be enjoying such mediocre ball, and I be expecting them to forestall the Jets and their second-year QB Zach Wilson who performed smartly within the win over Miami remaining week. Inexperienced Bay wins via 7.
4. The NFL must get a take care of at the concussion factor. I’m thinking about participant protection, however the brand new rule that compelled Bridgewater out of remaining week’s sport when he supposedly handed all concussion exams is an overreaction to the Tua scenario that used to be mishandled via the Dolphins’ trainer and scientific team of workers. Then we noticed a daft roughing the passer name on Grady Jarrett of Atlanta when he made an blameless takedown of Tom Brady, a penalty that ended the Falcons’ comeback hopes. This, too, used to be an offshoot of the league’s sensitivity to the Tua concussion factor.
Jeff Diamond is a former Vikings GM, former Tennessee Titans President and used to be decided on NFL Government of the Yr after the Vikings’ 15-1 season in 1998. He now works for the NFL agent staff IFA based totally in Minneapolis and does different sports activities consulting and media paintings in conjunction with school/company talking. Practice him and direct message him on Twitter– @jeffdiamondnfl