5 Minnesota Vikings Players Who Shined In Week 4 Victory
5 Players Who Shined For Vikings In Week 4
The Minnesota Vikings earned their first win this Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers and it was finally the offense that carried the load for the Vikes. The past few weeks, the defense and special teams unit has played a role is scoring points for the team but on Sunday the offense scored 34 behind quarterback Matt Cassel.
Cassel surprised everyone on Sunday when he came out and threw for 248 yards and two touchdowns. The play of Cassel now enters him into the competition for the starting job which could possibly last two weeks. The Vikings are currently on their bye week. With Christian Ponder likely close to full health, the pressure is on the coaching staff to decide who the long-term starter will be.
The play of the wide receivers contributed to the success of Cassel and so did the improved play of the offensive line. The O-line for the Vikings was one of the best at run blocking last season but through the team’s first three games of the 2013 season they have been very inconsistent which has had a huge impact on the team’s terrible start to the season.
On Sunday, however, three of the five offensive linemen for the Vikings received above average grades from Pro Football Focus (PFF), and center John Sullivan was the only one to receive a concerning grade. With most of the offensive line coming together this past game it is a good sign for the Vikings as a whole as they ran their first effective vertical offense of the season and came away with a victory because of it.
No. 5 Jerome Simpson
Jerome Simpson led the team in receptions and yards as he caught seven passes and gained a total of 124 yards. Simpson was involved in a season low 28 snaps against the Steelers but was effective when in the game and made some impressive catches as well. Simpson’s lack of playing time is a bit curious, but after the performance he put up on Sunday he solidified himself as the team’s number two receiver for now.
No. 4 Matt Cassel
Cassel led the aggressive passing attack of the Vikings and did a great job doing so in his first appearance of the season. As mentioned earlier, Cassel finished the day with 248 passing yards, and although he was helped out considerably by his receivers, he made good decisions and threw the ball down the field, something uncommon to the Vikings offense as of late.
No. 3 Phil Loadholt
Phil Loadholt graded out as the best offensive lineman for the Vikings on Sunday according to PFF, but he continues to have a very inconsistent season. Loadholt has been credited with two amazing games, and two concerning, below average games as well. The right side of the line carried the run game on Sunday and with Loadholt being an important factor in that his consistency has a great effect on this team.
No. 2 Adrian Peterson
Peterson broke free for his second long touchdown run of the season early in the game when he gave the Vikings a 17-7 lead after a 60-yard touchdown run. Peterson however kept up his dominance as he finished with a total of 140 yards rushing with two touchdowns and a six yards per carry average. Running has been a crucial part of the Vikings offense for years, and with Peterson hopefully back on track fans can expect to see more of this type of performance out of him as the year progresses.
No. 1 Greg Jennings
Greg Jennings made a couple of highlight plays on Sunday as he turned two of his three catches into touchdowns. The first came at the beginning of the game when Jennings turned a simple curl route into a 70-yard touchdown run and 10-0 Vikings lead. His second touchdown, although not as spectacular, was more important as it was the final points the Vikings put on the board and was the difference in the seven-point victory.