Defense and special teams rallied the Vikings to a Week 1 victory, 25-16, over Tennessee Sunday. Kicker Blair Walsh accounted for 13 points, linebacker Eric Kendricks returned an interception for a touchdown, and defensive end Danielle Hunter scooped up a fumble and returned it for another defensive TD.
The national attention, however, is still focused on who the Vikings starting quarterback – Shaun Hill or Sam Bradford – will be each week.
The veteran Hill started Sunday and threw for 236 yards, was 18-for-33, and had a QB rating of 63. He also ran for eight yards. The only problem, the Vikings offense failed to score, arguing, if ready, Bradford could get an opportunity to start in the home opener Sunday night against Green Bay.
Here is what the national outlets are saying about the Vikings after the season opener:
PFT's Michael David Smith believes Hill is just fine and there was no need to bring in Bradford.
Smith wrote "I will always maintain they panicked when they responded by trading a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick for Sam Bradford. The Vikings should have just stuck with Hill, who completed 18 of 33 passes for 236 yards, with no turnovers, in Sunday’s win over the Titans. Bradford will eventually take over for Hill, but I’m not so sure Bradford is any better. Certainly not so much better to make him worth a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick."
Around The NFL writer Conor Orr was impressed with the Vikings defense, but the No. 1 thing he learned Sunday was that general manager Rick Spielman made the right choice trading for a quarterback.
"The Vikings' trade for Sam Bradford seems completely justified at this point," Orr wrote. "Minnesota's defense parsed some difficult waters early on Sunday to get the win. Tennessee's offense is not an easy one to figure out, especially when the team did not unleash the full picture of their scheme during the preseason. After playing footsie for a half, Mike Zimmer unleashed his defense in the third and fourth quarters, ignoring all the Titans' window dressings and allowing his beastly defensive line to go straight for the passer. After the game, Zimmer wouldn't announce a starting quarterback for next week's game against the Packers. He added that the team will evaluate Bradford and Shaun Hill on a day-by-day basis this week."
Pro Football Focus
The Pro Football Focus team rated Blair Walsh among the worst offensive players of the week despite his four field goals. PFF pointed out that Walsh "missed two field goals (37 and 56 yards), as well as an extra point. He also only forced two touchbacks on seven kickoffs."
Peter King wrote on the Monday Morning Quarterback that the Vikings' Week 1 victory shouldn't be a measuring stick, but the team clearly struggled.
"I think they'll strongly consider starting Sam Bradford in the opening game at the new palace in Minneapolis on Sunday against Green Bay," King wrote.
"The Vikings surrendered first- and fourth-round draft picks for Sam Bradford because they believe he is the right guy. They are opening a new Stadium Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers. And so now the question is, in addition to opening a new stadium, will they turn to a new quarterback? ... I think that they'd like to go to Bradford."
Pete Prisco was more focused on Tennessee's disappointing offense than anything the Vikings had to offer in Week 1.
This sounds a little bit like Prisco would be speaking about both teams involved in Sunday's game in Tennessee.
Former Vikings star wide receiver Cris Carter kept his attention on the defense.
Vikings defense ï¿½ï¿½— Cris Carter (@criscarter80) September 11, 2016