4 keys to victory for the Vikings at the Texans in Week 4

(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Jefferson
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Jefferson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(David Berding-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr. – Minnesota Vikings /

Get Irv Smith Jr. involved

Big things were expected of Irv Smith Jr. heading into his sophomore campaign. The tight end showed plenty of promise during his rookie year with the Minnesota Vikings and there were plenty of reasons to be encouraged regarding his potential to be a prominent pass-catcher in 2020.

Sadly for the player and the organization, this hasn’t been the case so far. Smith Jr. hasn’t lived up to his billing so far and has been a relative afterthought in Gary Kubiak’s play-calling.

This is a situation that could change at the Texans, who have given up plenty of yardage to tight ends during the current campaign. Much will depend on how much Kubiak focuses on the passing game in the opening exchanges, but now is the time for the Vikings to unleash the former Alabama standout.

Smith Jr, has been targeted just five times this season, bringing in two receptions for 14 receiving yards. He didn’t have one ball thrown his way in Minnesota’s loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 3, which is simply not good enough.

The emergence of Justin Jefferson had plenty to do with this, and with more attention sure to go on the rookie going forward, it might leave some more space across the middle for Smith Jr. and Kyle Rudolph to do some real damage against a suspect defense.