The Browns will have an ample test against the Vikings on Sunday.
Kirk Cousins is both a highly effective quarterback and a much-maligned player for the Minnesota Vikings. He’s a player the Browns need to worry about the most when they travel away from the safe confines of Lake Erie, and head northwest to Minnesota to the unfriendly confines of U.S. Bank Stadium. A terrible name but a raucous place for any opposing team. A place that Cousins does just fine in.
Cousins and the fans won’t be the only hassle Cleveland will have to deal with either, as the Vikings are a formidable team, at least offensively. Defensively, they’re among the league-worst through three games and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to get much better for them. They went out and re-signed long-tenured defensive stalwart Eveson Griffin, despite Griffin being on the downswing of his career.
That doesn’t mean the Vikings, on either side of the ball, aren’t without talent. They are, and these are the three players that the Browns must worry about the most.
Three players not named Kirk Cousins to worry about on Sunday
The Vikings may not have a good defense but they do have some good players and Danielle Hunter is one of them. The defensive end wrecked the Arizona Cardinals and got to Kyler Murrary three times. Murray’s a hard quarterback to get to due to his speed and elusiveness, so to get him three times is an impressive feat. The Browns pass blocking has not been up to their 2020 standards, and Hunter could find himself against an ailing Jedrick Wills far more often than fans would like to see.
The secondary is trash, but Harrison Smith is still playing well. The Browns can’t sleep on him, and attacking him directly would be a poor decision, especially for the Browns who pride themselves on playing the percentages. He’s also one of the better tacklers, so he’ll need to be accounted for if he walks into the box.
Justin Jefferson isn’t stretching defenses in 2021 like he did the previous season but he’s still someone who watch out for. That said, we’re going with Adam Thielen, mainly because of his ability to get open near the endzone. He had just 10 touchdowns in his first four seasons and 33 in his last four. More specifically, he had six in just 10 games in 2019, then he had 14 in 15 games in 2020, and in 2021 he already has four. Thielen is a slippery guy and he can easily hurt you if you’re not paying attention.