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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Tyler Forness

Vikings vs. Giants: PFF grades from season-ending Wild Card loss

There is no way to sugarcoat this. The Minnesota Vikings lost in brutal fashion by a score of 31-24 to the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon.

The loss dropped quarterback Kirk Cousins to 10-13 in non-noon games over the last four seasons but this game was not his fault. He played really well throughout and there is an argument that the final play wasn’t his fault.

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The PFF grades are out and they paint an interesting picture.

Top 3 offense

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  • TE T.J. Hockenson 90.6
  • TE Johnny Mundt 83.7
  • QB Kirk Cousins 83.5

The trade for Hockenson ended up being a great move for the Vikings. He has been exactly what they both wanted and needed. His 10 receptions for 129 yards were most in the game.

Mundt out-snapped Irv Smith Jr. 21 to four and it’s easy to see why. He finished with a run-blocking grade of 74.3 and was solid throughout his play.

Cousins played one of his best games of the season. He did a great job working through progressions and finding the open man while staying comfortable in the pocket.

Bottom 3 offense

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  • C Garrett Bradbury 45.4
  • RG Ed Ingram 57.6
  • WR Justin Jefferson 62.8

You could tell that Bradbury wasn’t at 100%. He got steamrolled by Dexter Lawrence as he and Ingram allowed five pressures each.

Jefferson coming in slightly above average is about right. He caught seven of his nine targets for 48 yards and struggled to get open against bracket coverage. After the first drive, Jefferson only caught three passes and didn’t have a single target in the fourth quarter.

Top 3 defense

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
  • OLB Patrick Jones II 90.0
  • OLB Danielle Hunter 74.0
  • CB Duke Shelley 73.0

The pass rush was relatively good against Daniel Jones but he was able to beat it by using his legs. The two best pass rushers were Jones II and Hunter who had three and five pressures respectively.

Shelley was the best cover corner on the day and he had two pass breakups although one didn’t count due to a penalty. Shelley is a free agent this offseason and should be a priority for the Vikings to bring back.

Bottom 3 defense

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
  • CB Patrick Peterson 46.9
  • LB Eric Kendricks 52.2
  • OLB D.J. Wonnum 52.8

After having a great season, Peterson did not play well at all in this game. He allowed five catches on seven targets for 50 yards and two touchdowns. He couldn’t keep up with the Giants’ receivers and got beat in the red zone twice for scores.

Kendricks didn’t do anything right on Sunday. He got washed away in coverage, looked slow and flat-footed along with blitzing only okay. Kendricks doesn’t fit this team anymore and likely won’t be here next year.

Wonnum got washed away too easily on the edge. On his 23 pass rush snaps, he got only one pressure and couldn’t be consistent in the slightest.

Other notables

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  • LT Christian Darrisaw 74.7
  • RT Oli Udoh 70.0
  • RB Dalvin Cook 65.8
  • WR K.J. Osborn 62.9
  • OLB Za’Darius Smith 72.9
  • NT Khyiris Tonga 65.3
  • DE Dalvin Tomlinson 63.6
  • S Harrison Smith 58.6

The End is Just The Beginning-The Real Forno Show

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