1. The Vikings offensive line probably is going to be a major issue all season. I tend not to rush to judgment. I kind of casually stroll up to it. But I think we have seen enough in the past six games that suggests there is not much of a chance for this line to become the strength the Vikings hoped it would when they signed Alex Boone and hired Tony Sparano as position coach. The poor play of the tackles, especially newcomer Jake Long, contributed to all three of Sam Bradford’s turnovers against the Eagles. It is possible this group comes together quickly. In 2012, I covered a Ravens team that had offensive line issues all season but got their act together in time for a Super Bowl run. But with these Vikings, right now at least, it seems pretty likely they will have to win in spite of the guys up front.
2. Anthony Barr continues to have a subdued season for the Vikings. The third-year outside linebacker did recover a Carson Wentz fumble in the open field during Sunday’s loss. But he has not been a major difference-maker through six games. In his first two years with the Vikings, Barr seemingly made a splash play — a big sack or forced turnover — every game or two. Those helped him make the Pro Bowl in 2015 as an injury replacement. He has been mostly quiet in 2016, recording 21 tackles, a sack and one pass break-up. That’s it. Maybe blame it on the defensive line for making most of the plays before the linebackers get there? It is not as if Barr has been bad. He’s just been OK and has set the bar higher than that. The big, versatile outside ’backer can play better — and that’s a scary thought for a Vikings defense coming off another great game.
3. The loss to the Eagles was ugly, but the Vikings are still the team to beat in the NFC. My mentions on Twitter are an interesting place whenever the Vikings don’t win. The loss, which Zimmer rightly called “embarrassing,” was the first of the season for what had been the NFL’s lone unbeaten team entering Week 7. Yet a few ship-jumping fans were saying that the season was over for the first-place Vikings. And that Bradford should be benched. And the offensive line should basically be deported. Yes, that line might end up being the team’s downfall in the end. But allow me to echo Captain Munnerlyn, who channeled Aaron Rodgers, and say R-E-L-A-X. The Vikings are still a really good team with a special defense and championship-caliber resolve after overcoming injuries to key players to start 5-0. It is early still, but these Vikings are going to be tough to take out during the playoffs.