Ten Big Takeaways From Vikings vs. Commanders Week Nine 2022 NFL

November 6, 2022
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In yet another cardiac event inducing game, the Vikings come out on top against the Washington Commanders.

Recap Of Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington Commanders Week Nine Of 2022 NFL Season

The Vikings started out hot with a nine-play, 78-yard TD drive that took just under 6 minutes. It was capped off with a nine-yard TD pass from Kirk Cousins to Justin Jefferson. There were eight drives that ended in punts before the Commanders were able to make a 44-yard field goal with 0:37 left in the first half. Cousins threw an interception before halftime but fortunately the Commanders could not capitalize on it.

 The Commanders started the 2nd half well and it was 17-7 for the Commanders with 14:14 left in the 4th Quarter. The Vikings came back with a 68 yard drive of their own which was highlighted/helped by a defensive pass interference penalty on former Minnesota Gopher, Benjamin St. Juste. Cousins was taken out for one play before returning and getting them in place for a 25 yard field goal. 

QB Taylor Heinicke overthrew his TE Logan Thomas and it was picked off by Harrison Smith and returned for 35 yards. Vikings capitalized with a TD pass to Dalvin Cook. The Vikings seal the victory with a field goal after Commanders’ J. Ridgeway committed an unnecessary roughness penalty on a 22 yard field goal attempt. This allowed the Vikings to use up more of the clock and Greg Joseph won the game with a 28 yard field goal.

One: TJ Hockenson Gets Acclimated Quickly

Kirk Cousins looked to TJ Hockenson to make some plays early and often. He finished with the second most receiving yards only behind Justin Jefferson. He had the most receptions in the game with nine and he gained a total of 70 yards.

Two: Kirk Struggles With Inaccuracy

Kirk did not look like his usual self as he struggled with many errant throws. He finished the game with 22 completions on 40 throws, he had two TDs and an INT. He would have had another interception if they would not have called a defensive pass interference on Benjamin St. Juste when he got an interception. 

Three: Running Game Was Just Effective Enough

Dalvin Cook ran a total of 17 times for 47 yards and Alexander Mattison only added two carries for a total of one yard. However, the threat of Dalvin breaking a big run helped slow down the Commanders’ defensive line and pass rush at times. 

Four. Hicks And Kendricks Continue to Pile Up Tackles

Jordan Hicks finished the game with 12 total tackles and also had two passes defended. Eric Kendricks finished his day with nine total tackles and had one tackle for loss.

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Five: Another Rookie Steps Up

Akayleb Evans had a great day as he came into the game on defense after Cam Dantzler went down with an injury in the second quarter. He had a total of six tackles, two tackles for loss, and one pass defended.

Six: Za’Darius Smith Contributes In A Different Way 

He was not able to get any sacks throughout today’s game, but Za’Darius Smith still pressured the QB and had three QB hits on the day. He also added five total tackles and two passes defended. 

Seven: Harrison Smith Continues To Age Well

Harrison Smith continued to perform well at the backend of this defense and made the play that ultimately turned the tide in the Vikings’ favor when he picked off Taylor Heinicke halfway through the fourth quarter. The fact that he was able to return it 35 yards to the Washington 12-yard line also greatly helped the Vikings’ offense. It only took them two plays to turn the interception into six points when Cousins completed the 12-yard TD pass to Dalvin Cook. 

Eight: Cousins Was Under Pressure All Day Long

The Vikings’ offensive line did not come out looking very good after today’s game. They only gave up two sacks but they also gave up 11 QB hits. All of this pressure definitely added up when Cousins had to be taken out of the game for a play and his precision while throwing left something to be wanted for a good chunk of the game. 

Nine: Justin Jefferson Finds The Endzone Again, Finally

Justin Jefferson got his third receiving TD of the season in today’s game after going six weeks without one. He finished the game with seven receptions for 115 yards and one TD. He also had a ten-yard run that helped the Vikings use more of the game clock in the fourth quarter.

Ten: Ryan Wright Continues To Punt Well

He may only be a rookie and look like an offensive lineman but Ryan Wright has been a big part of the reason that the Vikings have been able to win the battle of field position throughout the season. 

It was another maddening game for Vikings’ fans but this team is 7-1 after nine games of the 2022 NFL season. They also have a four-and-a-half-game lead over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North, as the Packers lost to the Detroit Lions.

Here is another article here on thedailyskol.com about what should lead to a victory for the Vikings today’s game.