Vikings Position Grades – Week 4

Vikings Position Grades – Week 4

Every week the guys down at Vikings Barroom will offer a letter grade for each position or positional group on the roster. These grades will be kept throughout the season to create a running cumulative grade.

The following grades reflect the Minnesota Vikings’ performance against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium during Week 4 of the NFL regular season.

Grading Scale

A+: 4.0. A: 3.7. A-: 3.5.

B+: 3.3. B: 3.0. B-: 2.7.

C+: 2.4. C: 2.0. C-: 1.7.

D: 1.5. D-: 1.0. F: 0.5.

Vikings Position Grades – Quarterback

Brief Analysis: Sam Bradford continued his streak of strong performances to begin his Vikings career on Monday night against the Giants. Despite underthrowing Adam Thielen on a deep route down the sidelines and missing Stefon Diggs over the middle for a big gain, Bradford completed 26 of 36 attempts (72.2%) for 262 passing and his fourth touchdown toss of the year.

Week 4 Grades: B+ (BJ Reidell); B+ (Drew Mahowald); B (Tony Wenham); B (Matt Krier); B (Jordan Reid); A- (Tyler Haag); B+ (Jordan Groll)

Cumulative Week 4 Grade: B (3.2)

Cumulative Season Grade: B (3.22) [-]

Vikings Position Grades – Running Backs

Brief Analysis: For the first time this season the Vikings managed to establish a ground game. Jerick McKinnon, who tallied his first touchdown of the season to go with 85 rushing yards on a 4.7 per-carry average, and Matt Asiata, who plunged into the end zone for Minnesota’s first score of the game, allowed Bradford and the Vikings offense to get into a rhythm and move the football methodically down the field.

Week 4 Grades: B (Reidell); B+ (Mahowald); B (Wenham); B+ (Krier); B+ (Reid); B (Haag); B+ (Groll)

Cumulative Week 4 Grade: B (3.17)

Cumulative Season Grade: C (2.26) [^]

Vikings Position Grades – Wide Receivers

Brief Analysis: Stefon Diggs and — out of nowhere — Cordarrelle Patterson shared the team-lead with five receptions apiece, Charles Johnson finally made an impact with two long receptions to pace the team with 70 receiving yards and Adam Thielen just kept putting his head down and executing his assignments. While there wasn’t an individual standout performance within this unit, the Vikings receiving corps demonstrated both talent and depth in a solid group effort.

Week 4 Grades: B (Reidell); B (Mahowald); B+ (Wenham); B (Krier); B (Reid); B- (Haag); B- (Groll)

Cumulative Week 4 Grade: B- (2.95)

Cumulative Season Grade: B (3.00) [-]

Vikings Position Grades – Tight Ends

Brief Analysis: The impact Kyle Rudolph has had both working with Sam Bradford off the field and making big plays in key situations on the field has been enormous. Despite having only played together for a little over a month now, Bradford and Rudolph have developed undeniable chemistry that resulted in five catches, 55 yards and another touchdown — make that three games in a row. Both Rhett Ellison and MyCole Pruitt, playing in his first game of the year, had little impact on the outcome of the game, accounting for two receptions and a combined total of nine receiving yards.

Week 4 Grades: A- (Reidell); B+ (Mahowald); A- (Wenham); A (Krier); A (Reid); A (Haag); A- (Groll)

Cumulative Week 4 Grade: A- (3.55)

Cumulative Season Grade: B+ (3.3) [^]

Vikings Position Grades – Offensive Line

Brief Analysis: Despite facing two premier edge-rushers in Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon the Vikings offensive line produced far-and-away its best performance of the year. TJ Clemmings continued to play well in relief of Matt Kalil, Jeremiah Sirles — who replaced starter Andre Smith early in the game — delivered an outstanding effort off the bench for the second week in a row, Alex Boone was lethal inside the red zone, Joe Berger continued to build on an outstanding 2015 season and even Brandon Fusco put together a solid performance. Zero sacks allowed, and Sam Bradford was allowed more than enough time to throw deep down field multiple times despite New York’s elite duo of defensive ends.

Week 4 Grades: A- (Reidell); A- (Mahowald); B (Wenham); B+ (Krier); B+ (Reid); A (Haag); A (Groll)

Cumulative Week 4 Grade: B+ (3.42)

Cumulative Season Grade: C (2.26) [^]

Vikings Position Grades – Defensive Line

Brief Analysis: One week removed from collecting eight sacks, the Vikings defense put up a donut against Eli Manning and a solid Giants offensive line. Much of the reason for this was due to coach Ben McAdoo’s attempt to take Minnesota’s pass-rush out of the game with short drops and quick throws. But, Everson Griffen still managed to get pressure on Manning consistently throughout the game and Linval Joseph continues to be an absolute force at nose tackle — regardless of what Pro Football Focus believes.

Week 4 Grades: B+ (Reidell); B (Mahowald); B (Wenham); B+ (Krier); B (Reid); B+ (Haag); A- (Groll)

Cumulative Week 4 Grade: B (3.2)

Cumulative Season Grade: B+ (3.42) [v]

Vikings Position Grades – Linebackers

Brief Analysis: It was an odd night for the middle level of Minnesota’s defense. Eric Kendricks, who was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week following the Vikings’ victory over the Titans as a result of a game-changing 77-yard pick-six and seven combined tackles, struggled with missed tackles all night and dropped a cupcake from Manning that would have sealed the game. Chad Greenway recorded a grand total of two snaps while off-season acquisition Emmanuel Lamur did not see the field at all, as the Vikings were forced to play almost exclusively nickel defense due to New York’s offense running through 3-WR sets. If not for Anthony Barr, who appeared to wake up from his slump on the wrong side of the bed, performing at the level he did in both run defense and coverage, this unit’s collective grade may have been worse. But, as tight end Larry Donnell learned early on, Barr was a monster on Monday Night Football.

Week 4 Grades: B- (Reidell); C+ (Mahowald); B- (Wenham); B- (Krier); B (Reid); C (Haag); B (Groll)

Cumulative Week 4 Grade: C+ (2.64)

Cumulative Season Grade: B (3.07) [-]

Vikings Position Grades – Defensive Backs

Brief Analysis: Facing off against a trio of wide receivers that entered the game with the highest receiving yardage total of any unit in professional football, Xavier Rhodes and Co. put together a lights-out performance. Rhodes, who held Kelvin Benjamin without a catch during Week 3, forced another Odell Beckham Jr. temper tantrum leading to the worst performance of his career — three receptions, 23 yards. Terence Newman, the 86-year-old veteran of the bunch, ran stride-for-stride with OBJ down the sidelines to force an incompletion, Captain Munnerlyn held rookie phenom Sterling Shepard largely in check and Trae Waynes — with exception to a blatant pass interference call in the end zone — added another solid performance to his résumé that should have Vikings fans optimistic about his future. And, of course, Harrison Smith continued to do his thing while Andrew Sendejo provided another solid effort in what has quietly been an impressive campaign from the 2015 weakest link. Truly an elite collective performance by Mike Zimmer’s deep and talented secondary.

Week 4 Grades: A+ (Reidell); A+ (Mahowald); A (Wenham); A (Krier); A+ (Reid); A- (Haag); A+ (Groll)

Cumulative Week 4 Grade: A- (3.84)

Cumulative Season Grade: B (3.21) [-]

Vikings Position Grades – Special Teams

Brief Analysis: Jeff Locke continued his breakout season (if punter breakout seasons exist) and Cordarrelle Patterson continued to excel in the gunner role, as he forced an uncomfortable situation for return man Dwayne Harris with his speed, which ultimately resulted in a momentum-shifting fumble recovery by Marcus Sherels. The lone blemish, per standard, was a 46-yard wide left by kicker Blair Walsh, who continues to be the primary concern of Vikings fans — regardless of whether the collective feeling is warranted or not.

Week 4 Grades: B+ (Reidell); B+ (Mahowald); A- (Wenham); B (Krier); A- (Reid); A- (Haag); B+ (Groll)

Cumulative Week 4 Grade: B+ (3.34)

Cumulative Season Grade: B (3.02) [^]

Vikings Position Grades – Coaching

Brief Analysis: Norv Turner coached arguably his best game as a member of the Vikings’ staff, utilizing all of his weapons effectively en route to an excellent collective offensive performance. Mike Zimmer, well, he just kept doing his thing — putting together a perfect game plan to stop New York’s three-headed receiving attack and calling the right plays at the right time to receive optimal results from his band of killers.

Week 4 Grades: A (Reidell); A (Mahowald); A (Wenham); A (Krier); A (Reid); B+ (Haag); A+ (Groll)

Cumulative Week 4 Grade: A- (3.68)

Cumulative Season Grade: B+ (3.32) [^]

Vikings Position Grades – Overall Team Performance

Brief Analysis: Another week, another Vikings victory. Mike Zimmer’s defense is of elite quality, and if Sam Bradford and Co. continue to play efficient, turnover-free football, the sky might be the limit for Minnesota. 4-0.

Week 4 Grades: A (Reidell); B+ (Mahowald); B+ (Wenham); B+ (Krier); B+ (Reid); B+ (Haag); B- (Groll)

Cumulative Week 4 Grade: B+ (3.38)

Cumulative Season Grade: B (3.19) [-]

 

For more news, analysis and amusing jargon, follow @VikingsBaroom on Twitter!

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