The Vikings' most explosive play on Sunday, a game in which they failed to gain even 300 yards while ceding almost 500 to the Jets, came on a reception by a player who only totaled two offensive snaps the entire game.
That same player was on the receiving end of the third-longest gain the previous week, again while playing just two offensive snaps, while a different player who has played just seven offensive snaps all season showed off his game-breaking speed in that game.
Player 1: Jalen Reagor, who hauled in a 38-yard catch on a Kirk Cousins underthrow in the second quarter against the Jets on the Vikings' second touchdown drive in an eventual 27-22 win. He caught a 25-yarder the week before against the Patriots.
Player 2: Kene Nwangwu, whose 97-yard kickoff return TD against the Patriots was one of the most important plays in the game.
Both players largely have been given a tight focus this year on special teams, with Reagor as the punt returner and Nwangwu as the kickoff returner.
But for a team that finds itself increasingly unable to put teams away — even while it keeps winning, as Patrick Reusse and I talked about on Monday's Daily Delivery podcast — and which has been searching for consistent offensive playmakers outside of Justin Jefferson for much of the season, there is a case to be made for an increased offensive role for both players.
Reagor, who came over in a trade with the Eagles before the season, has played 40 offensive snaps all season. With that limited time he's managed six catches for 87 yards and a touchdown plus another two carries for 25 yards. That's 14 yards every time he's touched the ball, and a lot of production per snap.
The counter-argument, of course, is that Reagor didn't deliver huge dividends for the Eagles (64 combined catches in 2020 and 2021) when given a much bigger opportunity. The Vikings might even argue that Reagor's success this year is because he has been targeted in limited and advantageous matchups.
The counter-counter-argument: Why not give Reagor a chance to create more of those mismatches — some sort of a happy medium between his current average of 3.3 offensive snaps per game and his workload in Philadelphia in 2021 of 44.1 offensive snaps per game?
The case for Nwangwu is more potential-based since he's done little with his 36 offensive snaps combined between last year and this year. But just looking at his three kickoff returns for TDs between Week 8 last year and now, it's clear that he's the kind of player who can be dynamic if he gets the ball in space.
Some chunk plays would make the Vikings more dangerous, particularly in the passing game. Reagor's 38-yard catch against the Jets was the longest completion to any Vikings pass-catcher this season other than Jefferson.
The Vikings are winning now, and winning close. With margins so thin, any additional edge is worth exploring.