Ryan Collinsworth takes a look at key takeaways for each team that played Saturday.
Minnesota Vikings 42, Denver Broncos 28
- Closing Spread: Vikings -1
- Closing Over/Under: 36.5
Quarterback Kirk Cousins connected on all three of his targets to wide receiver Stefon Diggs for 35 yards and a goal-line touchdown on the Vikings’ opening drive. The injury-riddled offensive line performed better than expected, springing running back Latavius Murray for 42 yards on four carries. Cousins is used to playing behind leaky fronts: The Redskins offensive line ranked ranked 24th in adjusted sack rate in 2017. With an upgrade in surrounding talent, Cousins could have a big year.
Third-round running back Royce Freeman had to split time with veteran Devontae Booker, but Freeman stole the show with 38 yards on four carries, including an electric 23-yard touchdown. Chad ‘Swag’ Kelly made his case to be the No. 2 quarterback with two passing touchdowns, while Paxton Lynch and Case Keenum each underwhelmed, combining for just 29 yards on 15 pass attempts.
Los Angeles Chargers 17, Arizona Cardinals 24
- Closing Spread: Cardinals -3
- Closing Over/Under: 37
Los Angeles Chargers
Second-year running back Austin Ekeler looked great as both a rusher and receiver with 64 total yards on just seven touches. Melvin Gordon is an above-average receiver — he has 99 receptions over the past two years and reportedly honed his craft with Hall-of-Famer LaDainian Tomlinson during the offseason — but he could lose some aerial opportunities to Ekeler this season.
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Second-round pick Christian Kirk demonstrated his big-play ability on a dynamic punt return, and No. 10 overall pick Josh Rosen performed well under heavy pressure despite his modest stat line. Fourth-rounder Chase Edmonds made a strong case as a potential handcuff for David Johnson, supplying the highlight of the night via a physical four-yard touchdown run.