METLIFE STADIUM. EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – The Minnesota Vikings continued their turnaround from a 1-2-1 start Sunday as they beat the New York Jets, 37-17. The win was their third straight and moved them to 4-2-1 on the year.
The Vikings defense was the story in today’s game, getting after Jets rookie quarterback, Sam Darnold, early and often. The Vikings harassed him into going 17 of 42 for 206 yards with a touchdown, three interceptions, and three sacks on the day.
The Vikings defense took advantage of a young Jets offense that was missing one of their top receivers in Quincy Enunwa. With him out, the rest of New York’s receivers were largely ineffective as they were plagued by dropped passes throughout the game.
The Vikings suffocated the Jets seventh-ranked rushing attack as well, holding them to 71 yards and a touchdown. The ground game also turned the ball over on a botched exchange between Darnold and running back, Isaiah Crowell.
The Vikings offense, despite putting up a season-high 37 points, did not look good throughout much of the game.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins struggled the entire first half after the Vikings’ opening drive before settling down in the second half and finishing 25 of 40 for 241 yards and two touchdowns.
Receiver Adam Thielen recorded his record-tying seventh straight 100-yard receiving game, catching nine passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.
The Vikings only had 88 yards rushing, but much of it came in the second half to break the game open late. Latavius Murray had two touchdown runs, the last from 38 yards out to give the Vikings a 27-10 lead early in the fourth quarter.
With the Chicago Bears losing to the New England Patriots moments earlier and the Green Bay Packers on a bye this week, Minnesota now moves into first place in the NFC North for the first time this season.
The Vikings will now head back home for a showdown with the New Orleans Saints in the Sunday Night Game next weekend.
- After allowing Buffalo Bills rookie, Josh Allen, to torch them back in Week Three, Minnesota has dominated the last two rookie quarterbacks that they’ve faced. The defense has racked up seven sacks and five takeaways while holding them to a 52 percent completion rate.
- The Vikings rushing offense still has problems, but they’re starting to get more explosive plays at the times they most need them. Latavius Murray’s second touchdown run came from 38 yards out, and Roc Thomas had a 23-yarder on his only carry of the day.
- Don’t let the stat line fool you: this offensive line is still bad. After looking like they might’ve turned a corner last week with their run blocking, they returned to form this week. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that they finally opened decent holes for the running backs to get through. The pass blocking was only marginally better. They surrendered only one sack, but they continue to struggle to create a consistent pocket for Cousins to throw from.
- The Vikings offense looked out of sorts for most of the game. Had they been playing a better opponent (the Saints for example), this would’ve likely been a loss. Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo’s playcalling was not great today. He’s got to do a better job of finding ways to get yards on the ground. Putting the ball in Cousins’ hands too often will lead to turnovers, particularly with the pass protection that he has to rely on to buy him time to make plays.
- Cornerback Xavier Rhodes was injured late in the game while covering Jets wideout, Robby Anderson. Initial reports have been calling it a sprained ankle.