Tyreek Hill vs. Xavier Rhodes
To put things kindly, Xavier Rhodes is not having the type of season Vikings fans envisioned at the beginning of the year. Free from the injuries that supposedly hampered his 2018 campaign, Rhodes started off strong against Julio Jones in Week 1 (six catches, 31 yards and one touchdown vs. Mark Fields), but he has fallen off a cliff ever since.
The biggest issue with Rhodes is that when quarterbacks throw the ball to the guy he’s been covering, it’s usually a completion. The former All-Pro has allowed 34 receptions on 40 targets so far, which equates to an 85 percent completion percentage. Even worse, Rhodes has allowed three touchdowns on the season including two in a four-touchdown game to Detroit Lions receiver Marvin Jones in Week 7.
So what’s the problem? It seems like Rhodes has struggled against speedier receivers.
Darius Slayton, Davante Adams, and Allen Robinson have all put up solid games against the Minnesota’s corners this year and Terry McLaurin could have been added to the list last week if Rhodes didn’t exit with concussion-like symptoms in the second half.
With Rhodes magically able to play on Sunday, he’ll run into the fastest receiver in the NFL when he lines up against Chiefs pass-catcher Tyreek Hill. Although the speedster hasn’t played much during the first half of the season due to a collarbone injury, he’s still looked like the same player upon his return, scoring three touchdowns with a 15.4 yards per reception clip.
In other words, Hill loves to go deep and Rhodes has trouble keeping up with speedier receivers. The Vikings could go in a different direction by placing Mike Hughes or even Holton Hill on Hill. But if Minnesota is going to pick up a win, they’re going to need to find out how to stop Kansas City’s top receiver.