EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings blitzing quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Minnesota's offensive line blocking star defensive lineman Chris Jones were among Star Tribune writer Mark Craig's five takeaways following the Vikings 27-20 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Craig wrote about how the Vikings blitzed Mahomes on 19 of his 43 dropbacks.
Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores blitzed Patrick Mahomes on 19 of his 43 dropbacks (44.2%). It worked in the first half, when Mahomes completed five of eight for 38 yards and one sack. Mahomes won the second half, going 8-for-10 for 88 yards and two touchdowns while converting three of three third downs when blitzed. His 33-yarder over Camryn Bynum's outstretched hand found Justin Watson vs. a seven-man blitz on third-and-18 early in the third.
After the game, players praised Flores' scheme. Bynum called it a "perfect" game plan. In the fourth quarter when Mahomes tends to be at his best, the Vikings defense held the Chiefs offense to just 38 yards. Kansas City went 0-for-3 on third downs and punted on both of their fourth quarter possessions.
The offensive line was the subject of Craig's second point.
Right tackle Brian O'Neill and left guard Ezra Cleveland experienced the brunt of All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones' versatility. O'Neill's holding call in the red zone ended up causing the Vikings to settle for a field goal in the second quarter. The next possession appeared doomed five snaps later when Jones' quick swim move caused Cleveland to whiff badly. Cleveland was later saved by a successful fake punt.
Most of Jones' production occurred in the first half. He did not record a sack in the final 30 minutes. According to Pro Football Focus, four of the five of the Vikings starting offensive line graded inside the top 10 of their respective positions in Week 5.
Left tackle Christian Darrisaw ranked first out of 67 qualified tackles with an 88.3 grade. Center Garrett Bradbury graded as the second-best among 32 centers. In his first game back following a Week 1 back injury, Bradbury played all but one offensive snap.
Cleveland and Ed Ingram finished sixth and 10th among 67 qualified guards, respectively.
Click here to read the rest of Craig's Five Points.
ESPN's Stock Watch
Every week ESPN identities one key take away from all 32 teams, names a stock up and stock down player.
Vikings beat writer Kevin Seifert explained why receiver Jordan Addison's stock is up.
Stock up after the loss: WR Jordan Addison. The rookie caught a career-high six passes for 64 yards on nine targets, including a 5-yard touchdown in the second quarter and a key fourth-down conversion in the fourth quarter.
Addison is off to a promising start to his rookie season. He has scored in three of his first five career games. His three touchdowns are tied for fifth in the league and lead rookie pass catchers.
Seifert wrote about the Vikings fumbling issues for his stock down item.
Stock down after the loss: First-possession offense. The Vikings committed a turnover on their first possession against the Chiefs. It was the third consecutive game in which they've done so. On Sunday, it was a fumble by TE Josh Oliver that ultimately became a key play considering the Chiefs won the game by one score.
The Vikings have lost eight fumbles through five games, which matches their 2022 total.