Which Vikings players need to step up to get a win in Week 5?

(Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /

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Who needs to step up for the Minnesota Vikings to clinch a victory in Week 5?

The Minnesota Vikings were able to squeak out a victory against the winless Houston Texans last Sunday. They controlled the first half and they seemed to have an easy path to victory until the second half started. That’s when things started to get more intense.

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson began to hit his stride and the Vikings defense seemed to cave a bit. But Minnesota stood tall to get their first victory of the season and keep Houston winless, which subsequently led to the firing of their head coach/general manager Bill O’Brien.

The Vikings head out on the road again this week to take on the Seattle Seahawks in a Sunday Night Football matchup. This will be a big test for Minnesota as the Seahawks are easily a top-three team in the NFL right now. While the Vikings have struggled in the first month of the season, a strong performance in Seattle would be a good sign for things to come.

Which Minnesota Vikings need to step against the Seattle Seahawks?

There are plenty of players that need to step up for Minnesota in order for them to upset the Seahawks on Sunday night.

Seattle’s defense isn’t as good as it used to be in the recent past. While they’ve defended the run well, opponents have torched them through the air, and their pass rush is just average. There are plenty of areas that the Vikings offense can exploit and put up points this week.

Where the Seahawks win is on offense. An argument could be made that Russell Wilson is currently the best quarterback in the NFL. He’s been carrying Seattle this year and he has been playing at an MVP level.

So who needs to step up and have a big game in order for Minnesota to get the win on Sunday night?

Kirk Cousins

Cousins had his best game of the season last week in the Vikings’ victory over the Texans. He threw for 260 yards and one touchdown.

Cousins’ best stat of the day was that he didn’t throw an interception, which was something he did in each of Minnesota’s first three games this year. This season, he now has the same amount of touchdowns (6) as he does interceptions (6).

The Seahawks currently have the worst defense in the NFL when it comes to yards allowed through the air. They’ve allowed an average of 401 passing yards in each game this year. Cousins is going to need to take advantage of Seattle’s struggles in this area.

The Seahawks pass rush has also struggled to get to the quarterback this season. This is good news for the Vikings offensive line, who hasn’t played great this year.

Seattle has only been able to get to the quarterback six times this season, which is near the bottom of the league. If Cousins can get some time in the pocket on Sunday, he should be able to torch the Seahawks secondary. This also bodes well for Dalvin Cook and should open up running lanes on the ground for Minnesota.

Defensive Line

The Vikings defensive line has played better throughout the early part of the year, but they’re still below average in many stats. Wilson is a very elusive quarterback with amazing escapability in the pocket. Minnesota will have to contain him as well as the rest of the Seattle running game as the Vikings defense is allowing an average of 134.8 yards per contest on the ground this season

Minnesota has also been just as bad as the Seahawks at getting to the opposing quarterback this year. The Vikings have just one more sack than Seattle through the first four weeks, and with Wilson at quarterback, it’s going to be a tough task for Minnesota to keep him in the pocket and not allow him to make plays with his legs.

Defensive Secondary

The Vikings secondary has to worry about one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL this week. Wilson and the Seahawks passing attack is averaging 303 yards per game this season, which is good for top-three in the NFL right now.

Minnesota’s young secondary is going to have to be at their best in order to keep Seattle’s passing attack in check on Sunday.

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The Vikings have allowed 291.8 yards per game through the air this year, which is currently bottom four in the league. With how good the Seahawks passing attack is and how poor Minnesota’s secondary has played so far this season, this will be a matchup that Seattle head coach Pete Carroll and his offense will look to exploit in primetime.