Minnesota Vikings 38 vs. Washington 30
1. When Stefon Diggs is healthy, he’s a top 5 WR. Diggs had the full arsenal on display this week. In the 1st half alone Diggs torched Josh Norman on a 51-yard reception.
Stefon Diggs vs. Josh Norman.
— NFL (@NFL) November 12, 2017
Later in the 1st half, Diggs scored a short touchdown where he ate Bashaud Breeland alive and somehow ended wide open on a 3-yard route. Diggs finished his day with 4 receptions for 78 yards and 1 TD. Not a bad day considering he saw quite a bit of coverage from Norman.
2. Are Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen the best WR duo in the league? I wouldn’t argue with anyone who answered in the affirmative. Thielen is a stud. The 2nd to last drive before halftime saw Thielen own Washington’s secondary. Breaks off a 38-yard catch run on the sideline, then a 17-yard reception where he used his body to keep the cornerback away from the ball while he made the catch. To finish the drive, Thielen makes a great 6-yard reception for a touchdown. The second half was more of the same; there was the 49-yard reception where he smartly ran downfield when Case Keenum avoided a sack. He also had a screen pass he took for 16 yards. Thielen is the complete package. He can beat you on deep routes, intermediate routes, he uses his body to shield defenders and he can pick up yards after the catch.
3. Is Case Keenum #Good? On Thielen’s 38 reception Keenum made a great touch pass that was in the perfect spot for Thielen to make the reception in stride and pick up additional yards. On their first drive of the 2nd half, Keenum avoided a sack and kept his eyes downfield and found Thielen leaking out all alone for a 49-yard completion. Keenum had two possessions in a row that caused a bit of concern. First, on an ill-advised pass, he lofted the ball into triple coverage to no one in particular. Not surprisingly the play resulted in an interception.
On the Vikings next possession Keenum never looked at anyone but Kyle Rudolph on his route, including Washington CB D.J. Swearinger who picked it off and took it to the 2-yard line. I still don’t know the answer to my original question if Case Keenum is good. Keenum went 21 for 29 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The takeaway from today’s action is Keenum didn’t do anything to immediately lose the starting role to Teddy Bridgewater, but I’m not sure he did anything to hold onto the job either.
4. A couple of carries from the 5-yard line for Jerick McKinnon early in the game is an encouraging sign. Even though one attempt ended in a 2-yard pickup the other in a 2-yard loss, I’m less worried about the results than I am encouraged that the Vikings used McKinnon on a couple goal-line attempts. Coming into Sunday’s action McKinnon only had 2 attempts inside the 5-yard line, though Latavius Murray only had 3 himself. McKinnon did see another attempt from the 5 yard-line later in the game, which he also was unable to score on.
5. I completely forgot that Laquon Treadwell was on the Vikings. Treadwell ended his day with 1 target and no receptions. Unless Diggs or Thielen are lost to long-term injury, I don’t see how it’s possible for Treadwell to ever turn his career around while with Minnesota.
1.With Rob Kelley lost for the day in the 1st quarter to a knee injury Samaje Perine was given yet another chance to stake a claim for more usage. Though not in on a 3rd & 2 earlier in the drive, Perine did convert a 4 & inches (easily) later in the same 2nd quarter drive. Unfortunately for Perine truthers, the Vikings went on a 21-0 run over about 10 minutes of game time over to put Washington in a negative game script which didn’t favor Perine. After 6 rushing attempts in the 1st half, Perine was only able to muster 3 more rushing attempts in the 2nd half. Perine did have screen pass he turned into a 25 yard gain, but that was more of a good play call than anything else.
More importantly on two consecutive plays that Washington needed to stay in this game, Perine was anchored to the bench. First Chris Thompson was stuffed for no gain on 3rd and 1 and then Thompson lost 5 yards on 4 and 1. If Washington doesn’t trust Perine, the power back, to get them a yard when they have to have it, it does not bode well for Perine’s prospects.
2. Do not cover Chris Thompson with a linebacker. Thompson had a beautiful 27-yard reception on a 4th and 2 play where the Vikings had Anthony Barr in coverage on Thompson. It’s surprising to see Thompson used so little when Washington spent so much time behind in this game. Thompson finished the day with only 12 touches, with 9 of those being rushing attempts.
3. It was an uneven performance for Jamison Crowder who ended the day with 4 receptions and 76 yards receiving. In the 1st half, he had a nifty 32-yard catch and run. In the 3rd quarter, Crowder beat Mackensie Alexander for a 36-yard reception on a great throw from Kirk Cousins. Crowder also dropped a pass at the 2-yard line and a touchdown in the back of the end zone on the same drive. I counted 4 dropped passes from Crowder on the day. Crowder was only able to secure 4 of his 11 targets, but I’m not concerned about his value long-term. As long as he remains healthy and can get on the field, he’ll remain one of Kirk Cousins favorite options
4. Josh Doctson fell down and cost himself a touchdown in the 3rd quarter. He actually tripped himself, but the result was the same. Doctson ended the day with a modest 30 yards and 4 receptions but was targeted 7 times. His day would have looked a lot better if Cousins didn’t miss him for a no doubt about it 35-yard touchdown in the 3rd quarter. Even though Ryan Grant was lost to injury early in this game, there was no sighting of Terrelle Pryor who ended the day with 0 targets. The numbers might not be there yet for Doctson, but he’s seeing the field and seeing targets and I expect the fantasy points to follow.
5. Vernon Davis had 3 receptions in garbage time (down 11) for 39 yards that saved the day for anyone who started him this week. On the day Davis totaled 7 receptions for 76 yards on 11 targets. We talk about RB handcuffs all the time, but Davis might be carving a role out as the most(first?) valuable TE handcuff ever. Without fail, Jordan Reed will get injured and miss games and without fail Davis is there to plug and play and produce TE1 numbers.
Thanks for reading. Give me holler on the Twitter @DFF_Shane.