The Kansas City Chiefs will be at home once again this week. It will also be another tough test, as a hard-nosed NFC North team will come into Arrowhead yet again. Next on the schedule, is the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings enter Sunday, having rattled off four straight wins and sit at 6-2. Kansas City hopes they can emerge victorious to make both teams 6-3 respectively.
Will Patrick Mahomes be back? How will the Minnesota defense compare to others the Chiefs have faced? What version of the Vikings offense will we see? Let’s discuss all of these possibilities here, as we get to know the Chiefs’ opponent for this week. From behind enemy lines, here is our view of the Minnesota Vikings.
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Cooks In The Kitchen
The Minnesota Vikings are enjoying a satisfying run offensively. Running back Dalvin Cook has been the focal point. After battling injuries earlier in his career, he is finally showing the abilities the Vikings believed he could. Cook leads the NFL in rushing with 823 yards. He has also gained 5.3 yards per rush.
Meanwhile, the offense has built a strong rhythm as a unit under offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski and assistant head coach Gary Kubiak. Minnesota has excelled by putting their skill players in admirable positions. For the most part, no one has to over perform either. Quarterback Kirk Cousins has gotten hot over the last few weeks too. Additionally, it’s a bonus to have receivers like Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen to throw to. He can sink under pressure, but over the last month, he’s silenced some doubters. However, this is a big matchup. It’s well documented how often Cousins can fall flat in big time games. The Chiefs defense has seen improvement. Just like the Broncos game, if they can force the quarterback to beat them and be at his best, then KC could be just fine.
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We should know more later in the week on if Mahomes will be the starting quarterback. It seems like he is close to returning. Meanwhile, this will be more than impressive defense that the Chiefs will face on Sunday.
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The Minnesota Vikings defense ranks in the top ten in total yards allowed, passing defense, run defense, sacks and scoring defense. The scoring defense is what stands out the most, as they are allowing a measly 16.5 points per game. There could be an argument that the defense has not faced many high powered offenses. But, this is not a fluke. The Minnesota Vikings have long been one of the top defenses under head coach Mike Zimmer. Also, the success is consistent at all three levels of the defense. They fly around, they are fast and they also seem to create havoc and takeaways. Kansas City cannot afford to have too many lulls that we have seen at times this season.
While the Vikings have enjoyed a strong start, things are already tight in the NFC playoff picture. Will Minnesota be able to keep pace with other hopeful contenders? We mentioned how this team, and more specifically Cousins, has fallen under pressure. Furthermore, five of their last eight games are against teams currently sitting at .500 or better. The Vikings are also currently a wild card team, even at 6-2. Despite the difficulty in the conference, winning as a wild card team is hard enough. Consequently, there has not been a team to reach the Super Bowl having played on Wild Card weekend since 2012.
They have historically started well, like this season. Maybe the Chiefs could be able to start their second half downfall. Either way, this is a team that has built a good core and the NFC is just so stacked. As a result, this will certainly be a fun race to watch for the rest of the season.
That will wrap up our view of the Minnesota Vikings. Be on the lookout for the game preview by the end of the week. Stay tuned to Full Press Coverage, for more great sports and NFL content.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.