Xavier Rhodes – CB
A lot of folks in the media are asking what is going on with Xavier Rhodes this season. The question is definitely justified. The Rhodes haven’t been closed very much this year and the Vikings’ shutdown corner is struggling.
Concerns about Rhodes started a season ago. He struggled to cover receivers he usually shut down, but many figured it was just because he was injured and trying to play through the pain.
After a full offseason to get healthy, many were expecting to see the Rhodes of 2017 show up this year and that just hasn’t happened.
During Minnesota’s third preseason game this summer, Rhodes had a very poor showing against Damiere Byrd of the Arizona Cardinals. The unheralded receiver got the best of the Vikings corner a couple of times and red flags went up regarding Rhodes’ effort and motivation.
Five games into the regular season, Rhodes has been hit or miss. He did well against Julio Jones in Week 1 and fared well against Tyrell Williams of the Oakland Raiders in Week 3. But he struggled in Green Bay and also in Chicago.
His worst game may have very well been last week against the Giants. He got burnt by rookie New York receiver Darius Slayton for a long touchdown and that is something we aren’t accustomed to seeing from Rhodes.
This week he has to return to form. Alshon Jeffery comes to town and this guy has been a Viking destroyer his entire career. Rhodes has to get back to how he played in 2017 so he can shadow Jeffery and never let him out of grabbing distance. If he can do this, Minnesota’s chances of knocking off the Eagles will skyrocket.