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Minnesota is 2–6 in their last eight games. They escaped a bad Arizona team at home in Week 11 and had to come from behind to beat Jacksonville in this one. This is a bad Minnesota team right now. It’s a shame, because it is a really talented team.
The Vikings still have a chance to pull it together and win their final three games and possibly sneak into the playoffs or win the division. I just don’t see this current team able to win three in a row. The team that started 5–0 could, but I think that version of the team is long gone. Minnesota should win this week versus Indy to go to 8–6, and then the playoffs probably come down to who wins their Week 16 game – at Green Bay. The winner of that game is probably getting into the playoffs and the loser gets shut out. There’s time for a Minnesota turnaround, but the clock is ticking fast.
People talk about the Rams’ head coaching job being such a plum job, but I think this Jacksonville team is ready to rock with the right coach and GM. I’m sure they will butcher the decision on a replacement in January, but if I took that GM job I’d have a defense on the verge, and then I’d just replace my QB and be ready to roll. You know I’d have a killer draft over a two-year period and could build a dynasty. The problem is I’d probably never be in sync with any head coach and my biggest war would not be over personnel, but with the coaches playing the right people and me complaining about it to them. Plus, me fighting the media being an outsider. I’d be undermined and doomed from the start. I’ll just stick with fantasy football, where the smart football people are, who listen and consider alternative opinions.
There’s no need to break down the Vikings’ performances from this game because Adrian Peterson is back, and that will change everything. The final thing on this report will be the ‘AP effect’. Before that, I just wanted to hit on three key defensive players/standouts…
— Xavier Rhodes (2 tackles, 1 PD) is way better in coverage than I gave him credit for. I thought he was more bust than a success when I scouted him. He’s been very good this season. I think a touch overrated, but very good this year. Ask Allen Robinson – 1 catch for 17 yards on 3 targets.
Rhodes is also why I fear for T.Y. Hilton this week. I think Rhodes is the #1 CB in pass rating against (as far as low rating throwing at) for QBs this season to date still. That’s according to Pro Football Focus, which I don’t have a subscription to…I just have Cris Collinsworth tell me what I need to know about it when he cross-promotes his site he’s part owner of on national TV every week. I’m not sure I agree with PFF’s work/output, but I haven’t put a grinder to their work to see for myself.
— Rhodes pales in comparison, as a shutdown corner, to Jags’ rookie Jalen Ramsey (2 tackles, 1 PD). That guy – I did see him coming. Arguably the #1 prospect from this past draft. Arguably the Rookie of the Year. Dak Prescott should be, but in about any other year Ramsey would be. However, because mainstream football analysts and reporters are so diligent, I bet Ramsey doesn’t even get a vote as Elliott and Prescott get all the votes. It will be a crime.
If there is a better shutdown corner in the NFL than Jalen Ramsey, I’d like to see them. Patrick Peterson might be, but he’s so rarely tested I’ve become numb to his greatness. Ramsey looks like a junior mash-up of Peterson and Deion Sanders. He toyed with Stefon Diggs (3-55-0/5 targets) in this game, and Diggs is an excellent route-runner, etc.
— Danielle Hunter (6 tackles, 1.0 sack) is back – five games in a row with at least 0.5 sacks. He has 10.5 sacks this season and is going to the land of sack opportunity this week vs. the Colts.
— OK, Adrian Peterson is coming back this week…
What’s the fantasy effect?
It changes everything.
The Vikings are willingly enslaved to Adrian Peterson. They will run the offense through him if he is able to stand on two feet. I want to bet against a 30+ year-old RB coming off a major injury, rushing back quickly from rehab, with no O-Line blocking…but AP always defies logic. I bet against him having instant success Week 15, but I wouldn’t bet any real money.
When the offense goes through AP it affects the other players…
The passing game numbers are coming down because the pass attempts will dip. Sam Bradford was our sleeper QB of the week…not if AP is back.
You have to start marking down Diggs and Thielen. Diggs was our upside WR of the week – not if AP is officially active this week. Diggs becomes a pretty good play, not a ‘great play’.
Thielen was our ‘outta nowhere’ hot play for Week 15…definitely not anymore if AP is active.
Mark down Kyle Rudolph…the short TDs that Matt Asiata mostly failed to get that wound up as Rudolph scores…not as likely anymore. AP will get those opportunities.
You might think all this is harsh. Maybe, AP will help open things up? No. Teams will stack Minnesota for the short game like they always do, and Zimmer will accommodate with Peterson running into the teeth of it…and will do so happily with ball control and letting his defense hold the opponents. The old Vikings offense is back with AP. The offensive version that was starting to pass a little more the last few weeks will be gone.
Reverse everything I just said for Week 15 if AP is not active for the game…