5 Vikings players to watch vs. the Chiefs in Week 9

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Harrison Smith
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Harrison Smith /
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(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Pat Elflein
(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Pat Elflein /

Pat Elflein – LG

Pat Elflein is a guy who has to be getting down to his last chance with the team. He has had a disappointing season as a whole and is easily coming off his worst game of the season against the Redskins. Elflein was getting beaten badly, and most of the pressure Kirk Cousins felt came over Elflein as he just turned and watched his quarterback get killed.

If Elflein wasn’t getting beat, he was holding onto his man for dear life, drawing costly flags from the refs. He has been and continues to be, a problem on the left side and if it continues the Vikings need to make a change.

The Vikings have plenty of other options to put at left guard. Dakota Dozier would be the first man up. He had a nice preseason where he surprised a lot of people by holding his own against some tough competition. Beyond him are a couple of options on polar ends of the experience scale. Brett Jones and rookie Dru Samia.

Jones has filled in well at times for the Vikings and at this point, Samia is an unknown commodity. The team was high on this youngster in the preseason, so maybe they will see what he can do in a game situation if Elflein’s woes continue.

Things aren’t going to get easier for Pat Elflein this Sunday. The Chiefs’ front four is very intimidating with Chris Jones being the standout. This guy is a beast and has a rare blend of size, speed, and power. It’s a mismatch on paper, but if Elflein wants to keep his job, he’ll need to be up to the task.