On the first play from scrimmage against the Philadelpia Eagles Kirk Cousins hit Stefon Diggs on a quick pass good for four yards.
Four plays later, Diggs took an end-around for ten yards.
On the very next play, Cousins over-threw Diggs for a would-be touchdown on a fly route down the left sideline. Ugh.
Eight plays later, it was Adam Thielen who hauled in the touchdown pass on a sweet out-and-up route to the right corner.
Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski clearly wanted to get the ball to Diggs early, but you had to wonder how well the disgruntled receiver would take yet another overthrown long ball coupled with Thielen, not Diggs, scoring the touchdown.
I have been amazed at how quickly fans have been to defend Diggs and blame the media for what was clearly a Diggs-instigated minitroversy. Stefon Diggs is an easy guy to like and fans can certainly sympathize with his frustration over the play of his quarterback.
But it was Diggs, after all, who skipped two practices without permission. It was Diggs who refused to deny he wanted a trade and who winked at a reporter when claiming to love being here during his pouty press availability upon his return.
As Minnesota Vikings Chat reader Rick pointed out, Diggs began making a stink four games into the season. Yeah, the Bears game was a disaster but it’s not like his team had just lost their eighth game.
And, he’s in year two of his new contract…so, WTF?!?
But if Diggs was still feeling neglected, it was not to last.
On the second play of the Vikings second drive, Cousins hit Stefon on a quick pass that demonstrated why Diggs is so good on these quick passes. The Eagles cornerback accross from him did not even touch Diggs.
I’ve been complaining all season that the Vikings don’t employ more quick passes to negate strong defensive lines and cover for suspect pass protection.
The Vikings used plenty of quick throws on Sunday. Diggs had another one on a quick slant against an Eagles blitz.
While the Vikings second possession ended with a Dan Bailey field goal, Diggs wouldn’t have to wait long for the first of his three touchdowns on the day.
On the second play of the Vikings third drive, Cousins found Diggs on a post route for 62 yards and a touchdown.
Then on the very next drive, Cousins again found Diggs, this time for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Stefon Diggs went on to amass 167 yards on seven receptions while picking up 18 yards on two carries. He even had a passing play called for him, though he had to turn it into an eight-yard rush.
As beautiful as those long bombs were, Diggs most impressive play of the day was his third touchdown on a crossing route at the back of the end zone where he put a move on his defender to create separation, went up high to nab the ball, and tapped both toes just inside the end zone for the score.
He coud’ve had an even more impressive day with a fourth long touchdown, had Cousins not overthrown him…again.
Diggs was fantastic but not perfect.
He had a couple of dropped passes, one of which turned into an Andrew Sendejo interception. And he could’ve gained more yards on his end-around play had he cut back against Kirk Cousins’ block.
It was an electric performance that you’d expect would satisfy the disgruntled receiver.
So, do we now have a gruntled receiver?
So far, so good. I spotted Diggs creeping up behind his quarterback on the sideline to give him a big bear hug (and forcing Kirk Cousins to spill his drink all over his jersey in the process!).