ORIGINAL: The Happy Norseman
ORIGINAL: Bill Johanesen
ORIGINAL: The Happy Norseman
A few thoughts:
1. Well, there goes the season. At least the Vikings dashed our hopes early. Usually the team sucks us in, strings us a long, then and finds a way to make it as painful as possible to be a Vikings fan.
2. When your team has as many holes as the Vikings do, you cannot be terrible in any one area. Mediocre, maybe. Our special teams are terrible. Definitely needs to be a focus of the team's attention going into next year.
3. What happened to Harrison Smith? Easily the worst game I've seen him play. Obviously he was trying to cover for the rookie CB's but he only made matters worse.
4. We need a QBOTF in the draft. Kirk can't put a team on his shoulders and lead them to victory. The Vikings need to keep swinging until they find their version of Mahomes, Rodgers, Wilson. Watch KC last night. Did anyone think that Mahomes was NOT going to lead his team to a comeback victory? It's not okay to settle for mediocrity at the position.
5. We have an elite core of skill position players on offense with Cook, Smith, Thielen and Jefferson. With a better offensive line this team could lead the league in scoring next year.
5. I don't trust Spielman at all, but the Vikings have a lot of quality players and can easily compete next year with a few smart decisions:
- save salary by booting Reiff, Barr, Rudolph, Harris
- draft/sign 2 OG's, 1 3T DT
Spielman has a million draft picks, and could free up the cap space to make it happen. Of course we need depth, and we'll need another S, but if we make it a priority to fill those 3 positions this team can compete for a Superbowl next year.
Irv Smith is 164th in the league in receiving yards with 182. 20 yards per game over his 9 games. He could literally get that by catching 5 balls at the LOS, taking one small step, and lunging forward to the ground. Unrealized potential; the league is littered with those types.
Theilen IMO is not elite, although he has a lot of TDs this year. Depends on what you define as "elite". He had a great 20117 and 2018, and I think he will have a few awesome games this season, less next season, etc. Although, he may do well longer if the other weapons suck up more attention.
A QB is IMO part of an offensive skill set, at least as much as a TE. Cousins is not elite.
We have Cook and a rookie WR who will need to show year on year consistency, especially as he faces better defenders and possibly schemes against him. Ideally Smith Jr. joins them. And we get a QB. And blocking, yadda, yadda.
Irv Smith has elite level talent. The guy was a stud at Alabama, he's an excellent blocker and when he's been put into position to use his skills as a route runner and receiver he's performed. Our offensive gameplanning has not been good at taking advantage of his abilities, probably because our oline sucks and needs extra blocking help. For a few games it looked like they were starting to feature him more, but that positive trend has stalled in the past couple of weeks.
Thielen leads the league in TD's and averages more yards per reception than guys like Mike Evans and Davante Adams. He has speed and is considered one of the best route runners in the league with exceptional hands. He has a better skill set at the position than the vast majority of WR's in the league. That is "elite".
I did not include Cousins because he's not part of the core group I'm referring to. Although Cousins can play at an elite level occasionally, he certainly is not an elite QB.
Jefferson is currently the 7th ranked WR in the NFL, is on pace to top Moss's rookie stats, and has a serious case for OROTY. The kid is special and is absolutely an elite talent.
Figured someone would blame Smith's stats on the blocking while trumpeting the WR stats... which depend on the same blocking. Right now Smith is the NFL equivalent of a tease.
As for Theilen, I already pointed out his spike in TDs. The rest of your post on him is circa 2018. And the exceptional hands piece... hmmm, right after the Chi bobble leading to a Mack pick? But I agree he does have good hands.
I'll give JJ a bit more time before crowning him.