There were some who felt it was a good thing when inconsistent left tackle Matt Kalil went on injured reserve last month because of an issue with his hip. Osweiler connected with rookie wide receiver Will Fuller seven times in the win over Tennessee, but also connected with Titans defenders twice and has thrown six interceptions in the Texans’ first four games. For most teams, that is a recipe for disaster, but Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has his squad at 4-0. No, he isn’t putting up Drew Brees numbers.
It’s hard to get any more value out of a quarterback, especially when he’s had virtually no time to prepare for the Vikings offense.
Last week (season) – straight up: 8-7 (36-27); against the spread 7-7-1 (29-33-1); best bets 1-0 (2-2). As are Griffen and Barr and probably a few others.
The Texans have a defense of similar strength to the Vikings, but they are missing their best player, defensive end J.J. Watt. The offense is averaging just 303 yards per game, but averaging 22 points per contest thanks to the defense creating short fields.
In addition to protecting the football, the defense has a knack for turning it over. He missed the first four games this season while recovering from January surgery to fix a torn quadriceps muscle.
“They’re very sound. Very rarely does it look like guys are out of place”, Bradford said.
VIKINGS CB Xavier Rhodes did a masterful job containing Giants WR Odell Beckham in Week 4, limiting him to a career-low 23 yards on 3 catches. When it was mentioned to coach Mike Zimmer that the timing of the births were ideal because Rudolph didn’t have to miss a game or even a practice, Zimmer, whose offense has been ravaged by injuries, said, “Yeah, everything has been nice and smooth this year”.
The Vikings led the National Football League in sacks after three weeks (15), but they were held without one against the Giants in Week 4. The first overall pick in the 2014 draft will start his fifth straight game on Sunday, which will be the first time in any of his National Football League seasons that he’s played that many in a row. Rudolph has caught a touchdown pass in each of Sam Bradford’s three games with Minnesota.
Bradford is completing almost 70 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and no turnovers.
Brock Osweiler was overmatched by Minnesota’s relentless pass rush and coverage, finishing 19 for 42 for 184 yards, one interception and a late touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins while taking four sacks.
Despite the injuries, the Vikings had started 4-0, using a defense that makes good quarterbacks look lost. Right tackle Andre Smith (triceps), tight end Rhett Ellison (Rhett Ellison), Diggs (groin) and tight end David Morgan (knee) also did not practice on the first day of preparation for hosting the Houston Texans on Sunday.
Bradford’s arm has brought a new dynamic to the offense that it hasn’t had perhaps since the 2009 version of Favre. “How can we play great on the road?” Now it’s time for him to turn those words into results.