The NFL's 2019 regular season is just around the corner.
In anticipation of the action, NFL Media's Bucky Brooks evaluated offenses across the league. From head coaches to quarterbacks and position tandems, he identified the "engines that make every offense go."
Brooks tabbed receiver duo Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen as the Vikings offensive engine. He wrote:
The Vikings 1-2 punch at wide receiver is the best pass-caching combination in football. Thielen and Diggs are polished route runners with electric playmaking skills and strong hands. These two are capable of elevating any QB1, including Kirk Cousins, with their individual and collective abilities as catch-and-run threats on the perimeter.
As far as the rest of the NFC North, Brooks pointed to quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers for Detroit and Green Bay, respectively, and credited Head Coach Matt Nagy in Chicago.
For all of the love thrown in Mitchell Trubisky's direction for his growth as a second-year starter in 2018, the verbal bouquets should really land on Matt Nagy's lap for crafting a scheme that sets up the QB1 for success with a variety of layups (screens, quicks and isolation routes) embedded in each game plan. Sure, Trubisky deserves credit for converting the layups, but Nagy's creativity and offensive brilliance elevate the young signal-caller beyond his talent level.
The Vikings will visit the Bears in Week 4 and host the division rival in Week 17.
Click here to see Brooks' breakdown of all 32 offenses.
Cronin spotlights 'The Chef' Dalvin Cook's off-field efforts
Dalvin Cook may most stand out on the football field, but he's using his off-field talents to make a difference.
ESPN's Courtney Cronin joined Cook, nicknamed "The Chef" in his home kitchen this summer, during which the running back cooked fettuccini pasta with meat sauce and meatballs.
"I can't make no family dinner or nothing, but I can make meats and the necessaries for me to survive," Cook told Cronin. "I'm trying to get to the next level."
But Cronin pointed out that The Chef is more than a nickname; rather, Cook "aims to use his passion for cooking to serve a greater purpose." She wrote:
Earlier this summer, Cook announced he's partnering with Second Harvest Heartland, a food bank serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
And he will celebrate a day of raising awareness about the local hunger epidemic on Aug. 31 with a cookout and combine. Every additional dollar donated provides three meals for a family.
Cook also has partnered with the Minnesota Vikings Foundation through the "Vikings Table" program, which uses a food truck to help combat food insecurity in the Twin Cities.
Eventually Cook wants to expand his charitable efforts back home, inspired particularly by the work former Vikings quarterback and fellow Miami native Teddy Bridgewater has done in their hometown with his annual "Christmas in July" toy giveaway. Cook is starting small by giving back locally to a community he's grown to love.
PFF highlights individual Vikings performances from Preseason 1
Every week throughout the football season, analytics site Pro Football Focus releases its "PFF ReFocused" content series, which features immediate takeaways from games across the league.
PFF started its series this week with the slate of preseason contests, including the Vikings 34-25 defeat of the Saints.
Three young Vikings were highlighted in Minnesota's "strong performances" section. The PFF analyst team wrote:
Hercules Mata'afa stood out rushing from the interior Friday night, using his short-area quickness to beat blocks and bring pressure on the quarterback. Jalyn Holmes also brought pressure from the interior, coming free on a handful of stunts and registering two sacks.
Rookie seventh-rounder [Bisi] Johnson had a handful of highlight-reel grabs against New Orleans on Friday, including a gritty snag in tight coverage down the left sideline.