Evaluating the Offensive Line:
Here we head into the meat of the discussion about the Vikings’ offense. Throughout the first half of the season, Minnesota’s offensive line has been a though a roller coaster on and off the field as they dealt with the sudden passing of Tony Sparano and then the season-ending injury to guard Nick Easton.
Since then, the Vikings have done plenty of shuffling across the line. But there is a chance that they might have finally found a consistent starting five as they head into the second half of the season.
Left tackle Riley Reiff has been brutal in his second season with Minnesota. However, a lot of his poor performance has been tied to a foot injury that has caused him to miss three games this year. With a bye week to rest up, there’s a chance that Reiff could play much better in the second half.
At left guard, the Vikings have rolled with Tom Compton for most of the season. Many wanted to see Danny Isidora in this spot, but Compton has arguably been Minnesota’s most consistent lineman in 2018.
Unfortunately, Compton went down with a knee injury during the Vikings’ Week 7 victory over the New York Jets and may miss another game or two before returning to the lineup.
Randy Moss Minnesota Vikings NFL HOF Bobblehead
Center was a problem area at the beginning of the year until starter Pat Elflein took over for Brett Jones in Week 3. Elflein’s grade comes with a curve after recovering from two major injuries over the offseason and as he’s become more comfortable, so has the rest of the offensive line.
Mike Remmers has been plugged into right guard and that’s come with the effectiveness of a square peg in a round hole. Throughout the first half of the season, Remmers just hasn’t had the quickness that other guards have in the NFL and with under one season of playing the position under his belt, he hasn’t shown much improvement to think he’ll progress.
The biggest surprise along the offensive line, however, has been the development of right tackle Brian O’Neill. With Rashod Hill struggling, the Vikings’ 2018 second-round pick was thrust into action earlier than expected,
O’Neill has been mostly up to the challenge outside of lacking strength against power rushers. That should come with time and with him on the right end, it’s a great sign for his future with the team.