3 silver linings from the Vikings’ loss to the Chiefs in Week 9
By Nik Edlund
Rhodes was better
As stated a few times already, the Vikings’ defense didn’t have their best performance of the year against Kansas City. They had issues containing Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins and they allowed backup Chiefs quarterback Matt Moore to move the ball down the field with some big gainers.
Minnesota’s defensive unit, as a whole, struggled, and especially cornerback Trae Waynes. But it was nice to see Xavier Rhodes have a much better game after struggling badly during the last couple of weeks.
Rhodes wasn’t a liability at all against the Chiefs. He was tight in coverage and he stayed with his man stride for stride. He wasn’t called for any pass interference penalties and his tackling was much better than it has been in recent weeks.
Now Rhodes is nowhere near fixed as he has played well below his standards for about a month. The frustration he has been feeling is clear, as he has been seen slamming his helmet on the sidelines and angrily screaming after a play if it doesn’t go his way.
Hopefully, this game starts to restore some of Rhodes’ confidence. Even if it is a small step in the right direction, he can build off of it and take a bigger step during Minnesota’s game next week in Dallas against the Cowboys.
If the Vikings are going to be a playoff contender this year, they need Rhodes to look a lot closer to what he did in 2017 than what he’s shown this season. Sunday’s game in Kansas City was one of his best in recent memory and it should be a chance for him to regain some of his swagger moving forward.