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Bucky Brooks' Scouting Report: Week 14 vs. Vikings

Who is the Guy?

Justin Jefferson is an unstoppable playmaker on the perimeter as a crafty route runner with exceptional ball skills. The All-Pro has missed most of the season battling injuries, but his return could spark an offense that is a nightmare to defend with Jefferson torching one-on-one coverage on the outside. If the Raiders do not have an effective plan for neutralizing the spectacular pass catcher, the Vikings will race up and down the field utilizing a pass-first approach with Jefferson featured prominently in the gameplan.

Know His Name

Danielle Hunter is quietly having one of the best seasons of his career. The veteran has 13.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss as the top playmaker in an attack-style defense that keeps defenders on their heels. With his speed, power and explosion creating problems for edge blockers, the Vikings' pass-rushing specialist has the potential to produce a game-changing play at crucial moments.

Don't Sleep On…

T.J. Hockenson has flourished in the Vikings offense since he arrived from Detroit. The Pro Bowl tight end dominates the middle of the field as a big-bodied pass catcher with sticky hands and exceptional ball skills. As the designated chain mover in the Vikings' aerial attack, Hockenson is an underrated weapon that must be accounted for on critical downs.

Under Pressure

Josh Dobbs has cooled considerably after a sizzling start after joining the team via trade. The veteran has struggled with turnovers over the past few weeks, with five interceptions and three fumbles in his last two starts. Given the impact of turnovers on the outcome of games, the pressure is on Dobbs to take care of the football or risk losing his job to a backup player.

Matchup To Watch

Maxx Crosby vs. Brian O'Neill

The Vikings offense must find a way to slow down the Pro Bowl pass rusher to give Dobbs enough time to push the ball down the field to a group of explosive pass catchers on the perimeter. To attack through the air, O'Neill must stalemate the energetic Crosby (who is questionable to play) at the line of scrimmage to keep the quarterback upright within the pocket. If the Vikings edge blocker can duel to a draw, the scoreboard could explode if the quarterback has enough time to find his receivers down the field.


Vote For Crosby

Show support for Maxx Crosby as the Silver and Black's WPMOY nominee.

Offensive Strategy

Kevin O'Connell has quickly become one of the best play-callers in football. The Vikings head coach/offensive play-caller makes the game easy for the quarterback while creating big-play chances for his blue-chip players. With Justin Jefferson expected to rejoin the lineup this week, the Vikings' aerial attack is lethal, as T.J. Hockenson and Jordan Addison join the All-Pro pass catcher on the perimeter. If O'Connell can help Dobbs find his rhythm early in the game, the Vikings offense can produce fireworks on Sunday.

Defensive Strategy

Brian Flores has wreaked havoc on foes this season with his blitz-heavy scheme that features a myriad of "Cover 0" all-out blitz tactics. The ultra-aggressive approach keeps the quarterback guessing while dealing with an onslaught of rushers attacking from every angle. With signal-callers and offensive coordinators befuddled by the persistent pressure, the Vikings have held opponents to 17.8 points per game from Week 4 through 13, the fourth-best scoring defense in the NFL. After surrendering just 12 touchdowns over their past nine games, the Vikings' blitz-heavy tactics will challenge the Raiders' patience, poise and discipline.

The Silver and Black get in one last practice at Intermountain Health Performance Center before their Sunday matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.

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