Why are the Minnesota Vikings So Hot Right Now?
The way Dobbs took over last Sunday after not even being with the team for a week and led the Vikings to a huge win over Atlanta was something that you normally see in a movie script.
Then he helped guide the Vikings to their 5th win in a row yesterday over the New Orleans Saints. Dobbs used his agility to keep plays alive which helped put more points on the board for Minnesota.
As he was described on television yesterday, Joshua Dobbs is “slippery”.
So, is he the Hero for this team? I’d like to at least recognize some others who I think may be getting lost along the way.
One of the things I’ve noticed the last several weeks about this Vikings team, they block for one another very well. These blocks have been key in their bigger plays.
For Dobbs to have the “escapablilty” he’s shown, depends on the “other” guys reacting properly when the play breaks down. There certainly seems to be a good chemistry and connection between Dobbs and the rest of the offense.
Again, let’s not be short sided in remembering that Dobbs has barely been in Minnesota for two weeks. Coach Kevin O’Connell says Dobbs is given the game plan for the week, and hasn’t tried to learn the whole playbook, which seems to be working well.
But when you look at the play of TJ Hockensen the last 2 weeks alone, that should not be overlooked. Playing with an injury that had him getting up slower and slower after most of his 10 first half catches against The Saints.
With The Vikings missing key players as Wide Out, Hockensen’s size and reliable hands have been a tough out for opposing defenses. TJ’s play alone I’m sure has made this transition at least appear easier for the new quarterback.
Dobbs has put the ball in the right spots, but if Hockensen doesn’t play through the pain Dobbs is catching more blame than praise.
Running Backs Ty Chandler and Alexander Mattison have thrown big blocks and made plays with the ball in their hands to help Dobbs and Vikings cause as well. Churning for the extra yards even though the team has been prone to fumbling.
Without being able to somewhat move the ball on the ground, the passing game gets more difficult.
Let’s not forget about Jordan Addison and Brandon Powell, they’ve each had their own big moments the last couple of weeks as well. Again, they don’t complete the catch, we’re having a much different discussion.
Coach Kevin O’Connell also deserves some credit for putting this team in position to make some plays and allowing particularly Dobbs, but the other skill players as well, to do what they do well. And the staff he’s built really seems to understand what makes these guys tick.
Coach O’Connell is a younger coach obviously and seems to really have a solid connection with his team. This is something that older coaches have had a hard time doing over the years, and something we’ve heard that players have complained about through the years, feeling the coach’s personality did not fit the team’s personality and therein lies a disconnect. (Could this be the problem in New England this year?)
Coach O’Connell has instilled a “belief” and “faith” in his team that they can depend on one another, and the man next to them is going to do his part, and maybe a little more to help this team.
It may sound cliché', but a team with belief is a dangerous team.
Then let’s not forget about this “nasty” Defense from the Minnesota Vikings. The two late game interceptions yesterday preserved the win over the Saints.
A coach can feel more comfortable with allowing your offense some “grace and faith” when your defense looks how The Vikings have looked for the most part over the last five weeks.
I’m not trying to underscore what Josh Dobbs has done, he’s the Quarterback, he has the ball in his hands every play, and to not even know the playbook in depth is truly amazing.
But don’t forget about the guys who’ve been there since the beginning and have been a huge reason this team didn’t get down on itself after early struggles, and has now won five games in a row, without their star receiver and starting quarterback.
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