It’s always a good feeling for players and coaches to enter their bye week after a win, especially for the Minnesota Vikings, who are coming their first victory of the season. I think it can sometimes hurt when they have their bye week this early in the season, but the Vikings’ week off comes at a perfect time.
Although the Vikings lost their first game of their “make-or-break” stretch of the season to the Cleveland Browns, it was a positive sign to see the team bounce back with a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in London. You would think that a team wouldn’t want a week off after a big victory, but the Vikings need some key contributors to get healthy during the bye week.
The Vikings’ secondary has been decimated by injuries early in the season, and the play of this unit is crucial to Minnesota building on the momentum of last week’s game. Cornerbacks Chris Cook and A.J. Jefferson and safety Jamarca Sanford missed the game against the Steelers, and although none of these players are elite at their position, it’s easier to have faith in the play of starters than your backups. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 383 yards against the Vikings, with a porous offensive line in front of him. A healthy secondary and increased production from the defensive line are significant in the continuing improvement of this football team.
If Cook, Jefferson and Sanford can get healthy for the Vikings’ next game at home against the Carolina Panthers, this team has a chance to carry their momentum into winnable games against the aforementioned Panthers and the New York Giants.