Hey all, thanks for joining! Toss me your Vikings questions and I'll try to get to as many as I can in the next hour.
It would appear the Vikings went with the hot hand. Latavius Murray led the backfield in touches over Jerick McKinnon, 6-4, at halftime against the Bears. But then McKinnon broke off the 58-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. He added a 14-yard run between carries of minus-1 for Murray after that. The rest went McKinnon’s way. Moving forward, the Vikings have two different runners to utilize depending on the matchups. But they desperately sought big plays after Dalvin Cook went down and McKinnon gave them some on Monday night. He’s trending up.
Unless Sam Bradford’s knee feels a lot better this week, Case Keenum is the quarterback. Bradford re-aggravated his left knee early in the Bears game and tried to play through it, according to Mike Zimmer. He didn't look good while he was out there, taking four sacks epitomized by him falling down when Pat Elflein was backed into him. Kyle Sloter would be the backup quarterback behind Keenum until Teddy Bridgewater shows in practices (which he’s eligible to return to next week) that he’s ready to play.
I thought he was athletic and, really until the last throw to Harrison Smith, didn’t force a lot of mistakes. I think you have to credit the Bears approach given how Trubisky’s mobility paired well with their moving pockets and play-action passes. He didn’t fare that well without play action, however, which is to be expected for a debut. He’s set up decently in Chicago given their solid offensive line, Zach Miller at tight end and two good backs in Cohen and Howard. Those are the pieces needed for a young QB over a stud receiver, in my opinion. I think if Vikings fans were hoping for a massive bust on this Bears pick, they might be out of luck. But hey, it’s pretty early.
Treadwell actually saw more work than Michael Floyd in the veteran’s debut. Floyd saw 32 snaps to Treadwell’s 42, however as the season has gone Treadwell wasn’t targeted. Floyd showed why the Vikings took a chance on him with a 19-yard catch on his only target. It hasn't been looking good for Treadwell as far as his involvement and targets from QBs, whether it's Bradford or Keenum under center. Afterthought would be the right way to put it.
I thought Keenum played well. He completed 17 of 21 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown, looking how he does when he's efficient -- which is decisive and calm. He doesn't have the strongest arm, but when Keenum has some time and throws with anticipation, he can push them downfield. A 58-yard touchdown run didn't hurt, either. It's too early yet to say if he's starting Sunday, but after the way Bradford looked that has to be the assumption right now.
They've got 7 WRs on the roster right now, which isn't typical for this management. I'm assuming it won't stay like that, but they've got talent they like into the bottom of the depth chart with Coley and Adams, the two rookies. Between players like Wright and Treadwell, perhaps there's a trade possibility but the returns likely wouldn't be much.
I hear the Giants need a receiver, though.
They've had some critical penalties, and questionable calls like every NFL game every Sunday, but they're actually tied for the 9th fewest penalties (32) through five weeks. That's still a staple under Zimmer, which is maybe why it sticks out more. You've got your usual culprits through. Griffen is good for a few early jumps, but then you get the strip-sack where he's the first off the line.
Trae Waynes is the guy. The Vikings showed their belief in him by starting him and leaving him at left corner. He played 89 percent of the snaps vs. the Bears. Terence Newman's role is starting nickel and leading that rotation with Mackensie Alexander.
As far as Rodgers, watch the slot. Jordy Nelson torched the Vikings from all over the field at Lambeau last year, but some big damage came from inside the formation. Xavier Rhodes is now following receivers inside.
People who work with Treadwell talk about how at Ole Miss he often didn't need to be very precise in his routes or really run the full spectrum like an NFL offense demands. Treadwell was a 5-star recruit and first-round pick because of his talent. Issue is shaping that talent into an NFL receiver.
McKinnon didn't look so bad in the second half. Took a beating, too.
I'm very intrigued by this but have a feeling it'll be the 2016 Vikings in AZ. Not sure how effective that offensive line is and we've seen that movie before.
Quarterback, no? Same old, but aside from Bradford and Keenum's big games in Weeks 1 and 3 they've gotten rather uninspiring play at that position. Scoring 7 points against the Lions, even if Dalvin Cook went down, is inexcusable for a team limiting an opponent to 14 points.
Injuries are the obvious caveat at QB, but reality is they don't have many good options right now.
I think Teddy Bridgewater needs to show the Vikings he's ready before assuming he's the top QB. His health should be the priority. Keenum is the starter if Bradford can't go.
Regarding Bridgewater, he's eligible to return to practice next week. The Star Tribune's Ben Goessling reported this weekend the expectation is for Bridgewater to return soon after that. Once he practices, the Vikings have a 21-day window to activate him otherwise he'll be down for the year.
No, Bridgewater has not practiced once since Aug. 30, 2016.
However, he was working out Friday on the Winter Park outdoor fields, doing some dropback work. He's progressing in his rehab and still has steps to make, including taking part in a practice.
That is a good thing for Alexander. He played just 19 snaps last night and the Bears aren't really the measuring stick for your pass defense, but overall I think Alexander has improved after his bumpy start.
We'll see what direction they go with Bradford and the extent of his re-aggravation. The fact he re-injured his knee that quickly after a month off isn't a good sign for his 2017, I'd say.
Early on, I don't think the offensive line played as well as they had in previous games, but Bradford's inability to move much didn't help. They picked it up as the game went on. A quicker tempo in hurry-up with Case Keenum seemed to help. Keenum wasn't sacked on 22 pass plays.
Talked with Marcus Sherels after the game and he said the Vikings called a rush, and he thought the Bears noticed and checked into the fake. Cunningham seemed to have 15 yards all around him, he was so wide open. Then Sherels and Griffen missed tackles.
I don't know the extent of Bradford's re-aggravated injury at this point, so I can't speak to his career. However, check out the QB play around the league. I'm guessing, but if he can stand he might find a contract somewhere.
Jaleel had a nice play before he was called for a facemask last night. He's an intriguing player and I hope to see more of him in the lineup. That said, commend Tom Johnson for some of the plays he made last night. I didn't think he had some of that still in him.
Jaleel played 4 snaps, by the way. So his debut wasn't much.