To date in the 2016 season, the Minnesota Vikings defense has been facing some of the most seasoned quarterbacks. Their first five wins came against two former first overall draft picks and a two-time MVP.
Now they are preparing to get a taste of some quarterbacks who haven’t been nearly as big a part of the NFL wars and don’t have experience in facing a defense that can taste blood in the water like the 2016 Vikings do.
In their first five games, the Vikings had a three-game run where they faced three straight quarterbacks that combined at the time to have almost 400 career NFL starts.
Aaron Rodgers was making his 121st career start when the Vikings christened U.S. Bank Stadium. Cam Newton was making his 80th start, when the Vikings provided the kryptonite for Superman. When they faced Eli Manning, he was making his 189th straight start.
Suffice it to say, those guys had seen a lot of different looks and different pressures from defenses in their careers.
Over the next month, the Vikings are going face three quarterbacks that are still getting accustomed to being starters in the NFL. On Sunday, Philadelphia rookie Carson Wentz will make the sixth start of his career. Despite being in his ninth season, when the Vikings face Chicago on Halloween night, Brian Hoyer will be making his 30th start unless Jay Cutler’s thumb injury is healed enough to take his place (if Cutler is to return to the starting role at all). The following week, Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins will be making his 33rd start.
Considering what the Vikings have done against some of the most seasoned quarterbacks in the NFL, the new kids on the starting QB block may need to be forewarned – they’re going to learn something when they meet the Vikings.
If they can take out MVPs and first overall picks who have been there and done that in their last four games, guys who are still finding their footing over the next four games may be put on notice that heat is coming and it may be a career-defining moment for any of them if they show a mastery of the Vikings defense.
None of their predecessors this season have done it. Who will be the first?
- As expected, given the tone of Mike Zimmer’s press conference Monday, practice squad player Isame Faciane was released Tuesday. That announcement has sparked some social media outrage, given that in May defensive coordinator George Edwards was arrested on DWI charges and pleaded guilty to careless driving in August, as first reported by the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The Vikings released a statement Tuesday saying, "George Edwards immediately notified the team of this situation when it occurred. He was significantly disciplined by the Vikings. George has fulfilled both his legal obligations as well as the additional team-imposed discipline."
- The Vikings have overcome adversity due to injury more than most teams this season – at least those teams who haven’t had injuries already derail their season. The Green Bay Packers took a 1-2 punch Tuesday when cornerback Sam Shields was being placed on injured reserve and NFL Network is reporting that Eddie Lacy is going to miss a month or more due to something more significant than the mild ankle injury initially reported. That prompted the Packers to trade for RB Knile Davis.
- As of today, those who make Power Rankings have the Vikings rated no lower than No. 3 (what?). Those who have the Vikings rated as No. 1 include the Associated Press, NFL.com, FOX Sports and CBS Sports.
- The Eagles are likely to be without defensive tackle Bennie Logan Sunday, who is suffering from a groin injury. To complicate matters, Philadelphia’s starting center, Jason Kelce, is suffering from plantar fasciitis but is expected to play at less than full strength.