4 ways Sam Darnold can bounce back vs. the Vikings in Week 6

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold must attack Bashaud Breeland

The Minnesota Vikings defense is something that’s been a great source of pride for head coach Mike Zimmer throughout his time at the helm. After a significantly down year in 2020, things seem to be trending in the right direction once again this time around after an aggressive offseason of recruitment in free agency and the NFL draft.

Although they are going to be a severe test for Sam Darnold and the Carolina Panthers, there are a couple of areas and underperforming players the quarterback might be able to exploit.

Bashaud Breeland’s arrival to Minnesota from the Kansas City Chiefs came with plenty of upsides. But the cornerback has found life extremely difficult in a new environment through Week 5.

The former Clemson star has given up 23 receptions from 30 targets. Couple this with some suspect tackling and almost non-existent run support and it’s not hard to see why Breeland’s 42.3 grade from Pro Football Focus is among the worst for players at the position.

One expects All-Pro Patrick Peterson to go up against D.J. Moore consistently, leaving the likes of Robby Anderson and Terrace Marshall Jr. with Breeland opposite them. This represents an outstanding matchup that Darnold should be looking for consistently.

Much will depend on how the offensive line holds up against a stout defensive front, but whoever clashes with Breeland should be able to create separation quickly in his current form.