The Vikings were off to their worst start in the Mike Zimmer era but the team looked to turn things around against another 0-3 team in Houston. They took advantage of a bad Texans defense, coming out on top 31-23.
Several key pieces on the Vikings offense had stellar performances Sunday afternoon. It all started with Dalvin Cook, who finished the day with 130 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He could have had another touchdown, but the Vikings looked to Alexander Mattison to finish off one of the Vikings scoring drives.
The team’s top two receivers also had a field day, showing off how dominant this offense can be when they spread the ball around to their top playmakers. Justin Jefferson finished his second strong performance in a row with four catches for 103 yards. Although he didn’t find the end zone, he had big plays in multiple drives that led to the Vikings finding the end zone.
Adam Thielen recorded eight catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. The Vikings receiving room lost Stefon Diggs earlier this offseason, but the duo of Thielen and Jefferson is starting to look like one of the better duos across the league.
Although the defense struggled in pass coverage at times they found a way to shut down the Texans offense multiple times in their own territory. The unit lost arguably their most important asset in Harrison Smith due to a weird targeting call early on in the game, but George Iloka’s familiarity with the defensive scheme helped the Vikings with their lack of safety depth.
The Vikings have now scored more than 30 points in three of their first four games of the season. The defense is extremely banged up and has two rookie cornerbacks starting, so it has excuses for the early season struggles.
Sitting at 1-3, it’s not easy to be excited about the remainder of the Vikings season. They beat a bad football team on Sunday, but they will take what they can get after a horrid start to the season.
It might take a full season for the Vikings to find their rhythm, but that’s okay given the amount of talent they’ve been missing thus far. Without Danielle Hunter, Anthony Barr and Michael Pierce the defensive side of the ball is bound to struggle. They found a way to win today without the names that were just listed, on top of the loss of Smith early on in the game.
The offense has shown that they can keep this team in shootout style games and the defense can only go up from this point forward. It’s still a stretch to think the Vikings have a reasonable chance at the playoffs, but crazier things have happened.
For a more in depth analysis on today’s win over the Texans, tune into KFAN 100.3 and KFAN.com.