The Minnesota Vikings came into the season with aspirations of being a legitimate Super Bowl contender. So far, so good for the franchise. After a slow start from Kirk Cousins, the Vikings have seen their quarterback turn things around and get back to being one of the top signal callers in the game.
Looking ahead to this week’s matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Vikings will need to bring their best game. Patrick Mahomes may or may not be able to play, but Matt Moore had a great game last week against the Green Bay Packers. With or without their star quarterback, the Chiefs are going to be a tough team to beat.
All of that being said, the Vikings are going to need some players to step up this week in order to get the win. Let’s take a look at two major X-Factors for Minnesota this week against Kansas City.
Dalvin Cook, Running Back
Let’s start off with the more obvious X-Factor for the Vikings this week. Dalvin Cook has been a workhorse this season, but he has not had one of his massive performances the last few weeks. That needs to come this week.
Kansas City does not have a great defense and Aaron Jones gashed them last week. Jones put up most of his production as a receiver, but he also had a solid game on the ground. Minnesota needs to get Cook as many touches as they can and let him make plays.
Everson Griffen, Defensive End
Secondly, Everson Griffen has to make his presence felt this week. Whether the Chiefs have Mahomes or Moore under center, the Vikings must get pressure on the quarterback. Green Bay wasn’t able to get a ton of pressure in the backfield, but the Vikings have to force quick decisions and capitalize on the mistakes.
Griffen has had a good season so far with 4.5 sacks and he needs to add another sack or two to that total. If he can get to the quarterback, the Vikings are going to be in a good position. His role is going to be crucial this week.