Heading into today’s Week 7 matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets, here is scouting the enemy with Adam Carlson of The Viking Age.
During the offseason, the Minnesota Vikings were considered to be early Super Bowl favorites. Just seven weeks into the season, expectations have been lowered as they’re a team still trying to find an identity to push the envelope towards such goals. The New York Jets are also in a similar situation but appear to have seen what they’re capable of when everything falls into place.
This Week 7 matchup between both teams is a toss up as it could truly go either way. I decided to sit with Adam Carlson, Site Expert of TheVikingAge.com to discuss what things have been like with the Vikings and some thoughts of this matchup. Here’s our full sit-down as we prepare for what should be a good game between both teams.
LTJ: How have things been with the Vikings now that Kirk Cousins is your starting quarterback?
AC: Honestly, I was hesitant to buy into the hype when the Minnesota Vikings broke the bank with a fully guaranteed contract for Kirk Cousins, but he’s played beyond my expectations this season and showing that he is the guy the team needs to move forward and be successful. Despite a severely limited amount of time to throw the ball and almost no real reliable running game, Cousins has made quick and accurate throws while showing the ability to stand in the pocket and deliver deep strikes with pressure in his face. Fans couldn’t ask for much more.
LTJ: Were you as surprised as the football world was with the incredible rise towards stardom for Adam Thielen?
AC: The only people really surprised are those outside of Minnesota. Fans of the Vikings have gotten to watch his climb, starting by earning a spot on the practice squad, getting moved up to the main roster, excelling on special teams, getting a spot on offense, and then working into a starting role. He thrives at whatever is thrown at him and works hard to hone his craft. Watching his solid hands, great concentration, crisp route running, speed, and acceleration have shown his progression over the years. And now that Cousins loves throwing him the ball, the sky can be the limit!
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LTJ: What have been the main struggles for the 3-2-1 Vikings?
AC: This is an easy one. It’s the offensive line. As stated earlier, the unit can’t keep Kirk Cousins clean and they struggle so bad to open running lames that prior to last week, Minnesota was the worst running team in the NFL.
Last week showed some hope that they can get things done, but there’s a chance it was an anomaly against Arizona last week.
There also seemed to be a bit of a mental disconnect before the Bills game when it comes to concern for defensive end Everson Griffen. Now that four games have passed for Minnesota since then, the team is focused and Danielle Hunter has stepped up in a big way…but that still has to be in the back of their mind.
LTJ: What are your thoughts on Sam Darnold so far this season?
AC: I’m not sure why the people at the New York Post are so bitter about the Jets missing out on Kirk Cousins because so far Darnold looks like he could be the real deal. Darnold’s role this year is to be efficient in combination with a strong Jets rushing attack, and he looks like he’s quickly getting on the right track. Considering he has been going up against some really tough defenses in the first 6 weeks, Darnold has to be given a lot of credit for throwing more touchdowns than interceptions and leading the way to back-to-back wins with hopes of keeping that trend going.
LTJ: Final score and MVP?
AC: Right now, the Vegas spread for this game is 3.5 according to OddsShark. That sounds pretty fair considering the Jets are one of the better teams in the league as they continue to grow into their roster and bring their young quarterback along at a slow pace. For that reason, the Vikings need to be favorites, and that means a win of 27-23. And if the Vikings are winning, that means wide receiver Adam Thielen likely had a massive game. Unless the Jets make it their focus to stop him, he should be able to keep his streak of 100-yard games alive and earn the MVP award for Week 7 against the Jets.