Vikings Report Card: First quarter of the 2019 season

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Eric Kendricks
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Eric Kendricks /
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(Photo by Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via Getty Images) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via Getty Images) Dalvin Cook /


The Vikings couldn’t run the football a season ago and vowed in the offseason to improve that aspect of their game. They brought in guard Josh Kline in free agency and used their first-round pick on center Garrett Bradbury, which moved Pat Elflein to left guard. The changes have certainly helped as the Vikings have been a juggernaut on the ground.

Dalvin Cook is on pace for 1,640 yards this season. He is one of the most electrifying runners in football with his combination of speed, vision, and power. He’s truly a special talent and it has been fun seeing him rip off those game-changing long runs. The problem is that as improved as the Vikings running attack is, the passing attack has regressed.

It’s been a weird start for the Vikings passing game. They only attempted 10 passes in Week 1, and didn’t have to throw much more against the Oakland Raiders in Week 3. When they have had to rely on Kirk Cousins to make plays, he just hasn’t been able to do it.

The Vikings pass protection is far worse than their run blocking and Cousins has felt plenty of pressure this season. When he does have time, he isn’t seeing the open receivers down the field, often electing to dump balls off to Cook or even C.J. Ham.

Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen have a combined 25 receptions on the season and are under 400 yards receiving. That is a drastic change from a season ago. This offense needs to find balance, and Cousins simply has to start playing up to his contract.

Grade: D

The running game is an A but this Vikings passing game is a nightmare. Cousins has to be better and the offensive line has to give him better protection.