Every week send any Vikings-related questions to @Andrew_Krammer and I’ll answer them here on Fridays.
How do you rate the performance of the LBs as a collective so far this term?
— Jon Darling (@WarleyOwl) October 12, 2017
A: In a top run defense, like the Vikings currently have after five weeks, you can safely assume the front seven (and in their case, safety Harrison Smith) is performing well. The eye test and tackling numbers, at least according to Pro Football Focus, mostly back up solid play from Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks and part-time player Ben Gedeon. I like what I’ve seen from Barr, who has already doubled his tackles for losses (4) from last season (2) in five games. He’s shown some attitude on the field, needing to be yanked away from Bears guard Kyle Long after a play in Chicago. They’ve made life difficult on opposing running backs like Le’Veon Bell, Jordan Howard and Mark Ingram. Only one has topped 100 total yards: Detroit’s Ameer Abdullah, who had 109 yards on 23 touches in the Vikings’ loss. Kendricks, the team’s leading tackler in back-to-back seasons, has been quieter than normal. He leads the group with three missed tackles so far and, outside of a sack, has not made a tackle behind the line of scrimmage.
What’s the likelihood of guy’s like Brees or Cousins landing in MN next year?
— josh anderson (@thefutureinHD) October 13, 2017
A: I don’t think you would’ve heard anybody predict the likelihood of Sam Bradford’s trade to Minnesota, or Brett Favre’s previous arrival for that matter, five months ahead of time, so why not? Drew Brees has not publicly committed to the Saints beyond this season. Kirk Cousins is set to be a free agent this spring. The Vikings have two starting quarterbacks with, unfortunately, two good knees between them. And this is a team built to win right now. Moving forward, the immediate recoveries for both Bradford and Bridgewater will be the first dominoes before the Vikings need to make a decision on the starting quarterback for 2018.
Possibility of a low-sell trade for DRC?
— Bret Engel (@BretEngel) October 12, 2017
A: The Giants need a receiver, don’t they? The Vikings have an interesting receiver room given how they have two of the NFL’s receiving leaders, and that isn’t counting the two first-round picks or the reliable veteran. As the Vikings know well at quarterback, desperation can create unexpected offers. However, the Vikings will want some answers before sending valuable depth for DRC. They’re not as down on their own cornerbacks as some fans seem to be, and his flame out in New York begs many questions. They can seek answers. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur served the same role under Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who was the Rams head coach from 2009-2011.
Why hasn’t treadwell been targeted? There have been times where it looks like he’s a good option.
— Brandon Lee (@BeShapelessLee) October 12, 2017
A: The Vikings passing offense hasn’t been anything special outside of two games against the Saints defense and the banged-up Buccaneers. Laquon Treadwell is sixth in targets (10) and catches (5) and yards (42) so far. Yet he’s fourth in playing time (185 snaps) among the Vikings receiving leaders. When either Sam Bradford or Case Keenum are looking at their outside options, Treadwell has been hidden by the connections with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. The trust in Treadwell, from both the quarterback and coaching staff, will be tested once the injury bug bites. If Diggs misses time due to his groin injury, will Treadwell see more looks? Or will Michael Floyd step in to fill that void?
Looks like Jerick has chance to excel behind this OL w/20 carries. Can we count on him getting the touches? #Vikings better w/ fulltime RB
— C Bendix (@burnretina) October 12, 2017
A: You’ll see Jerick McKinnon remain involved and perhaps even take the backfield lead Sunday against the Packers. His 146-yard outing, including a 58-yard touchdown run five plays after fumbling a kickoff out of bounds, showed some resiliency that impressed head coach Mike Zimmer. But I’d be surprised to see either McKinnon or Latavius Murray get the full-time workload given to Dalvin Cook. They’re not locked into an approach, assessing playing time on a game-by-game basis, according to Shurmur, and McKinnon’s coming off one of his best games.