2. Latavius Murray broke out… finally.
We’ve been waiting for this moment ever since Dalvin Cook went down with a torn ACL. Given Murray’s success as a Oakland Raider, he’s been counted on to pick up the slack. In the Vikings’ previous two games, Murray wasn’t able to do so, combining for 59 yards on 27 carries.
In this one, Murray dashed his way to 113 yards on 18 carries, surpassing his season total of 97 yards in the first six games. In the process, he outperformed fellow running back Jerick McKinnon who had 14 carries for 47 yards. Even so, it’s clear the Vikings want to use both backs plenty with the hot hand getting the larger load of carries.
Given McKinnon’s history of nagging injuries, a productive 1-2 punch is necessary for Minnesota to sustain success. Of course, Murray has to keep it up, but the performance was sure promising. As matter of fact, it looked more like the Murray we saw with the Raiders.
3. Everson Griffen and Adam Thielen extend streaks.
Griffen and Thielen extended huge streaks to start the year.
For Griffen, he picked up two more sacks, giving him at least one sack in every game this season. Altogether, he has nine sacks and is well on his way to having the best season of his career. He’s been an absolute force up front as well as the vocal leader on and off the field. His presence is invaluable to not just the defense, but the team as a whole.
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As for Thielen, he had his seventh consecutive game of five or more catches. While he only came up with 41 yards on those five catches versus the Ravens, he’s still a consistent find for whomever is on the field. An impressive feat considering many receivers lose value when their starting quarterback goes out with an injury.
Not to mention, he’s able to step up whenever top receiver Stefon Diggs is out and perform at a high level. Considering the coverage shifts towards the Minnesota native with Diggs out, this makes his numbers that much more impressive. The Vikings have to feel great about having two capable no. 1 receivers on the roster, especially in the case one goes down.