5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington Commanders – Week 9

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) T.J. Hockenson /

Hockenson will score a touchdown in his Vikings debut

The acquisition of Hockenson fits on many levels for the Vikings. A dynamic pass-catching weapon, Hockenson is what Vikings fans believed Irv Smith Jr. would be. With the ability to do a little bit of everything, Hockenson should also be an integral part of the Minnesota offense – just don’t expect it to happen right away.

When talking to reporters on Wednesday, Hockenson admitted there was a lot to learn about Kevin O’Connell’s offense. When O’Connell installed his scheme this offseason, Adam Thielen noted he was “swimming,” and Cousins admitted that he had to use flashcards to learn the terminology. Even Justin Jefferson made his share of mistakes during the transition, and the same could be expected of Hockenson.

If there’s one area where Hockenson could make an immediate impact, it’s in the red zone. The Vikings rank sixth in the NFL by scoring on 66.7 percent of their red zone drives this season, and adding a 6-foot-5 target like Hockenson should make a big difference.

With 15 touchdowns over his first four seasons and three in seven games with the Detroit Lions, Hockenson should be able to be installed in the red zone early. That should mitigate his learning curve between the 20s and pay immediate dividends against the Commanders.