Wide Left: Midseason report card for the Vikings

With the Vikings 6-2 and in the thick of the NFC playoff race, Blair figured it was a good time to draw attention to those who are excelling and also to those who simply aren't making the grade.
Author:
Publish date:

Ah, the midterm report card. For some, bringing it home meant having your straight-A report card shoved into your sibling's faces on the refrigerator door for the next couple months. 

For the Minnesota Vikings, the midseason report cards can go several different ways. For some, a slow start has been followed with a white-hot second quarter of the season and for others, they've just been good the entire year.

With the Vikings 6-2 and in the thick of the NFC playoff race, many of their key players are in good shape heading into the second-half kickoff with Kansas City this Sunday. I figured it was a good time to draw attention to those who are excelling and also to those who simply aren't making the grade.

KIRK COUSINS: B

Cousins' performance is a lot like a good friend of mine back in the day. See, he knew how to read in kindergarten, but the teacher he had didn't like the fact that he was smarter than her. So, she flunked him and after holding him back for a full year, he turned out to be a pretty good student.

After flunking his first year (and the first four games this season) with the Vikings, Cousins has a chance to be a model student for Kevin Stefanski's offense in the second half.

DALVIN COOK: A+

Cook is like that super awkward person in high school that turned out to be a supermodel after you dumped them at prom and never called again. 

After some Viking fans wanted to write him off after his back-to-back injured campaigns, Cook leads the league in rushing with 823 yards and also has a league-high nine touchdowns on the ground, making him the face of the franchise. He shows no signs of slowing down.

ADAM THIELEN: A

Still a reliable target for Kirk Cousins and if you didn't hear, he played at Minnesota State Mankato, where he probably had a straight-A report card.

STEFON DIGGS: B+

Diggs is playing like the kid who got Cs, but the teachers knew that with a little coaching, he could reach his full potential of becoming an A student. After nearly forcing himself off the team, Diggs has erupted for a franchise record 452 yards over the past three games and should continue to rack up yardage if his quarterback doesn't fade.

KYLE RUDOLPH: D

If we were discussing Rudolph's ability to become a $36 million version of Jim Kleinsasser, we'd give him an A+

THE OFFENSIVE LINE: B-

Overall, the offensive line has looked great as Brian O'Neill has picked up where he left off and Garrett Bradbury has improved after a rocky start. The one concern is Pat Elflein, who seems like the kid who just kept saying "I like pancakes," but his grades were magically good enough to let him play on Friday (or in this case, Sundays).

DANIELLE HUNTER: A+

Hunter is playing like the All-State phenom that stole your girlfriend, stole your friend's girlfriend and then stole the opposing quarterback's girlfriend. He's an absolute freak.

ERIC KENDRICKS: A

Bravo to Kendricks for having a bounce-back season. After looking a bit sluggish last year, he's rebounded in a big way and is Pro Football Focus' second-highest graded linebacker. We're not quite sure what that means, but we think it's good.

XAVIER RHODES: D

Rhodes is like the kid who keeps faking he's sick to avoid a big test. Quarterbacks are completing passes at will in Rhodes' direction (an 85% completion rate according to PFF) and the Vikings will need him to rebound or try to replace him with Holton Hill, who was smoking in the boy's room during the first half.

HARRISON SMITH & ANTHONY HARRIS: A

Both Smith and Harris are still really good at football and mesh well with each other. There's no joke about it. With Smith laying the lumber and Harris bringing the coverage skills, the back end of the Vikings defense looks terrific.

MIKE ZIMMER: B

The teacher that brings everything out of his students. After a near rebellion in the first four games, hopefully everything comes together for a happy "graduation" to Super Bowl champions this winter.

Next Up

Eddie Rosario

Report: Twins place Eddie Rosario on outright waivers

The outfielder's time with the team appears to be coming to an end.

radio station, microphone

Christian music broadcaster revealed as buyers of Go Radio

Educational Media Foundation. operates the K-Love brand, which has a presence already in the Twin Cities.

Screen Shot 2020-12-01 at 5.04.39 PM

St. Paul police chief reportedly fires officer who shot naked, unarmed man

Chief Todd Axtell said the officer's use of force was not reasonable.

Trevor May

Report: Trevor May leaving Twins to sign with Mets

The right-hander will sign a two-year deal to head to New York

Car crash

'Grim' milestone: Minnesota's traffic deaths reach 364, tying 2019 total

“With fewer vehicles on the road during the 2020 pandemic, the loss of life on Minnesota roads is beyond disappointing."

Devin Weiland

Charges: Albert Lea man, 21, fired around 90 shots at police, residents

Weiland was arrested after a standoff that lasted more than eight hours.

Body storage warehouse

Body storage warehouse 'ready if needed for COVID-19 fatality management'

The warehouse is currently storing PPE and testing supplies.

Giordano's

Signs come down at Giordano's restaurant in Uptown

It appears the restaurant has closed for good.

State Capitol.

Walz eyes COVID-19 relief package totaling $300-$600 million amid budget surplus

The state forecasted a budget surplus for the remainder of the biennium.

Bar beer

Walz non-committal on extension of restaurant, gym closures

He has suggested that the ban on mixing with people outside your household could continue over Christmas.

Related

Kirk Cousins

Wide Left: Why the Vikings need to get offensive this offseason

With multiple holes on defense, emphasizing a top-tier offense should be a focal point.

Dalvin Cook

Wide Left: What to be thankful for with the Vikings season

With an 8-3 record, it's easy to be thankful for the Vikings right now.

Aaron Rodgers

Wide Left: The Grinch that tried to steal the Vikings' Christmas

Everyone in Minnesota liked the Vikings a lot, but those Cheeseheads from the east absolutely do not.

Stefon Diggs

Wide Left: The Vikings might regret trading Stefon Diggs

"This is something as regrettable as going down to the final roll of toilet paper."

Screen Shot 2019-08-10 at 7.50.44 AM

Wide Left: Vikes' offense looks legit; takeaways from preseason opener

Blair Anderson is a Vikings superfan who convinced BMTN to give him a blog.

Mike Zimmer

Wide Left: Is the Vikings' championship window still open?

With a lot of holes to fill, Blair Anderson has his doubts.

Kevin Stefanski

Wide Left: Revamped Vikings offense needs to be re-revamped

Any other Vikings fans feel the way Blair Anderson does?

Screen Shot 2020-02-09 at 9.12.10 PM

Wide Left: The NFL needs to adopt some XFL ideas ASAP

Viking games are an adventure, but here are some ways to make it more fun.