Skip to main content

Wide Left: The roads have opened up for Xavier Rhodes

Xavier Rhodes was one of the Vikings' most exciting players two years ago, but has struggled to recapture that form in 2019.

Just two years ago, Xavier Rhodes was one of the most exciting players on the Minnesota Vikings. With every Vikings fan within the state boundaries screaming "Rhodes Closed" at every opportunity they had, Rhodes shut down some of the top wide receivers in the NFL as he ascended to All-Pro status.

I remember this well. Going a little further back, Rhodes shut down Odell Beckham Jr. to the point where he looked like a sad Bloomin' Onion with no sauce. In November of 2017, he headed down to Atlanta and left Julio Jones wondering what Steve Sarkesian was really drawing up on his cocktail napkin. It was awesome.

But we fast forward to today and things have really gone south for Rhodes. Coming into Sunday's game with the Detroit Lions, Pro Football Focus had credited him with 28 receptions on 33 targets. With those catches, Rhodes had given up 266 yards (24th among qualifying cornerbacks), two touchdowns and a 110.4 quarterback rating.

Those numbers were pretty rough, but then came Sunday afternoon when Marvin Jones hit Rhodes like he was on the freaking autobahn. With two more touchdowns likely to be charged to him, Rhodes was reduced to an emotional mess, even sitting out as the Vikings prepared for a crucial stop on a two-point conversion.

This has unfortunately become the norm for Rhodes as he has blamed his poor performance on everything except for the fact he needs to be better. In the past two seasons, this has really taken a turn for the worse as every time he gets burned, he drops to the ground as if he were to scream "I'M COMING, LORETTA!" only to return several plays later.

His tantrum on Sunday would've make a 3-year-old proud, but Rhodes continues to do dumb stuff such as kicking a penalty flag and fighting Stefon Diggs during a training camp dispute, which in Minnesota just gets painted as being a malcontent.

We all know what Rhodes did in the past, but even somewhere in the middle would help the Vikings secondary immensely, especially with Trae Waynes not having an All-Pro season in his own right. While Mike Hughes has shown promise, the Vikings' chances of having a deep playoff run go down considerably if Rhodes doesn't step up. 

If that happens, this defense can go from good to great. If not, the Vikings are going to have some issues going up against some of the high-powered offenses in the NFC.

Next Up

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Here’s what the Vikings owners say about new GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

The Vikings announced his hiring on Wednesday night.

raiaing canes brooklyn park crop

After 3-month delay, newest Twin Cities Raising Cane's opens

The restaurant was originally scheduled to open in October.

st anthony armed robbery screengrab

Armed man robs Twin Cities thrift store, flees in carjacked pickup

He pulled out a handgun shortly after chatting with the cashier about his scarf.

red wing 6

Gallery: Pagoda-inspired home on Lake Pepin for sale for $2M

The home has 425 feet of private shoreline on the Mississippi River.

Walz, Flanagan

Walz proposes legalizing marijuana in massive supplemental budget

It's among the provisions in his "Budget to Move Minnesota Forward."

Plow 2 (1)

Photos reveal damage from gunshots to Minneapolis snowplow

A hydraulic line and three tires were damaged in the shooting.

unsplash - school classroom students

Minneapolis schools confirm return to in-person teaching Monday

The school district shifted to online learning almost two weeks ago as rising COVID cases led to staff and bus driver shortages.

Flickr - Superior National Forest Boundary Waters

Mineral leases for proposed Twin Metals mine near Boundary Waters canceled

A review by the DOI found "significant legal deficiencies" with the leases' 2019 renewal.


Reward to find person who left kittens to die in freezing WI cold

The cats were thrown from a vehicle, according to a witness.

metro mobility bus

Charges: Man led police on multi-city pursuit in stolen Metro Mobility bus

The bus had been left unattended with the keys inside when it was stolen.

Bell Ramsey Co. Jan 22 - crop

Charges: Man fatally shot mother of his child during argument

Officers found her on the ground outside the couple's home.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, January 26

More than 15,000 new cases in today's update.



Wide Left: Kirk Cousins may have earned himself an extension

"Here's something I never though I'd say...Kirk Cousins deserves an extension."

Laquon Treadwell

Wide Left: 'Unfortunate reality' that Treadwell will be the 3rd WR

Another hilarious blog from Blair Anderson, the fan who bleeds purple.

Harrison Smith

Wide Left: Vikings linebackers, secondary are still serious units

Blair Anderson, a superfan with a platform, opines on what matters most

Stefon Diggs

Wide Left: Casting doubts about the Vikings' chances this season

This is totally out of character for Blair Anderson.

Dalvin Cook

Wide Left: This is the year Dalvin Cook breaks out…seriously…I mean it

Blair Anderson is a Vikings super fan who has convinced us to give him a blog.

vikes picks

Wide Left: Draft class sets Vikings on path to glory ... until our inevitable failure

Superfan Blair Anderson gives his hilarious verdict on all 12 draft picks.

Kirk Cousins

Wide Left: Vikings show they have the fortitude for a deep run

They need consistency, but the Vikings avoided the dreaded meltdown game...for now.