The Minnesota Vikings lost a close-fought battle to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 9. How did the Vikings rookies fare in the team’s loss on Sunday?
In a road matchup against a good Kansas City Chiefs team on Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings did what they usually do and they ended up with a loss. It was a game the Vikings probably should’ve won, but some questionable play-calling and a few mental lapses on both sides of the ball proved to be the difference.
Minnesota had help, once again, from their rookie class in this game. How exactly did the Vikings rookies look on Sunday in Kansas City and who deserves the illustrious honor of being named Minnesota’s Rookie of the Week?
As per usual, the Vikings didn’t have any rookies on the defensive side of the ball do anything, so the focus again will be on offense.
Garrett Bradbury was on a roll coming into this game at Arrowhead Stadium, but he took a big step back against the Chiefs. Bradbury struggled to protect Kirk Cousins and he couldn’t handle the loads that were Derrick Nnadi and Chris Jones.
Bradbury was flagged a few times for various penalties and with Dalvin Cook only running for 71 yards on the day, Minnesota’s rookie center clearly had issues moving these big Kansas City defenders out of the way. He’ll need a better performance next week against the Cowboys if the Vikings are going to walk out of Dallas with a win.
Speaking of Minnesota’s run game, Alexander Mattison had the second-worst game of his career from a production standpoint. Mattison only got the ball three times and he ran for just six yards.
His lack of touches is on the coaching staff, as it would’ve been nice to see him carry it a few more times against a Chiefs run defense that was towards the bottom of the league heading into this game.
Instead of running the ball though, Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski called for a lot of dump-off passes behind the line of scrimmage that went nowhere. Mattison is a back who needs a few carries to get rolling and to see him not get fed enough in this game was disappointing.
Adam Thielen reaggravated his hamstring injury early on Sunday and he spent most of the game on the sidelines. That opened the door for Bisi Johnson to make his mark.
Johnson only caught one pass against Kansas City, but it was for a touchdown. This guy has proven he can answer the call and he should continue to see more targets come his way, especially if Thielen is out for an extended period of time.
That brings us to tight end Irv Smith Jr., the top Vikings Rookie of Week 9. Smith hauled in four passes for 33 yards on Sunday. He always seems to have a reception or two called back with a penalty each game this season and that happened again against the Chiefs.
This kid’s role continues to grow week after week and it just feels like he’s going to bust out for a big game with a score and over 100 yards receiving during one of Minnesota’s remaining games this year.