5 moves that got the Minnesota Vikings to 8-3 at the bye

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Josh Kline
(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Josh Kline /

Signing Josh Kline

Josh Kline was the big “new name” signing for the Vikings this past offseason. When Kline is that big “new name” signing for a team, it’s clear they may not have a lot of cap space and that was the case for Minnesota.

Kline was coming off a pretty bad season for the Tennessee Titans. He was still playing well in the running game, but he was a huge liability in pass protection. It appeared the Vikings got a guy who would likely start in 2019, but he still would be in competition with rookie Dru Samia and others for the starting job.

It turns out Minnesota didn’t get the 2018 version of Josh Kline, they got the version that suited up for the 2015 New England Patriots instead and he has been much better than advertised. He’s been a wall in pass protection and an absolute road grader in the running game. Hardly any pressure comes from the right side of the Vikings line with Kline and Brian O’Neill holding down the fort.

It’s clear how important Kline is to Minnesota’s offensive line when he isn’t in there. He has suffered some concussions this year and that has caused him to miss a couple of games. The drop off when Dakota Dozier has started in his place is huge and very evident.

Without Kline out there, Kirk Cousins will usually get killed by some big beefy opposing defensive lineman barreling through the right side of the interior and Dalvin Cook also finds very scant room to run up the middle when the Vikings starting right guard isn’t on the field.

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Minnesota’s offensive line is much better than it was a season ago and the signing of Kline has a lot to do with it.