1. The Vikings were fortunate that Kai Forbath still was available in November. While Forbath missed a key point-after attempt in the victory over the Jaguars, he did his part by splitting the uprights on all four of his field-goal attempts, making him a perfect 10-for-10 in purple, and he showed some resolve by responding to his missed PAT by nailing the next one, which put the Vikings up by two scores late in the game. Given how he has kicked for the Vikings so far, and his track record with the Redskins at the start of his career, I find it hard to believe that there were 32 better kickers than him before the Vikings signed him. The Vikings erred by hanging onto Blair Walsh too long, and his abysmal performance in the first Lions loss looms larger and larger every week. But they appear to have stumbled upon a suitable option for next season in Forbath.
2. Alex Boone has turned out to be a good investment for the Vikings. Boone, the starting left guard, did not endear himself to the fan base early on. After a pair of shaky performances to start the season, he told the hometown fans to shut up when the Vikings have the ball at U.S. Bank Stadium. But Boone’s play has quietly improved since then. He is not the best guard in the league by any stretch, but he has stabilized one spot on an offensive line that is getting shuffled every other week. An argument can be made that he should just let his play do the talking, but the Vikings wanted an in-your-face tone-setter up front to try to coax a little fire out of the rest of the guys. That leadership, in addition to his steady play in both pass protection and run blocking, has made Boone worth the four-year, $26.8 million contract he got last winter.
3. Adam Thielen is going to have some suitors after the season. Thielen, the former Minnesota State Mankato standout, will be a restricted free agent this offseason. So the Vikings will have the ability to keep the wide receiver and special-teams standout around if they choose. But if they aren’t careful, they can allow another team to drive his price up. Thielen has had a breakout season, and with 56 catches for 758 yards, he has an outside chance at reaching 1,000 yards on the year. On the open market, he could command more cash than Cordarrelle Patterson, his good buddy and a former first-round pick who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. To deter another team from making him a strong offer, the Vikings probably will have to slap a second-round restricted tender on Thielen, so that they get something in return if they do lose him.