Stefon Diggs stood patiently beside his locker, fielding questions he knew he’d have to answer.
The Vikings had just earned a 28–10 win over the Giants in Week 5 of the 2019 season. Three days had passed since Diggs had vented his frustrations with the team’s offense, failing to lessen speculation about his future with the team by saying there is “truth to all rumors” when asked if he wanted out of Minnesota.
When the question was posed again after the win in New York, this time Diggs smiled and winked.
“Yeah, I want to be in Minnesota,” he said.
And after a 38–20 win over the Eagles on Sunday, that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon.
Diggs put on his best performance of the season in the Week 6 contest, impressively racking up seven receptions for 167 yards and a career-high three touchdowns on the day.
On his first two touchdowns of the game, Diggs took advantage of the Philadelphia safeties getting drawn up by the underneath routes, using his speed to burn through Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas for back-to-back 62 and 51-yard scores. His connection with Kirk Cousins (22-of-29 for 333 yards, four touchdowns and one interception) helped give the Vikings an early 24–10 halftime lead.
The deep ball was Cousins’s weapon of choice against Philadelphia. After starting the season 1-of-5 with one touchdown on throws that traveled 30-plus yards down the field in the first five games of the season, Cousins was 2-of-4 passing with two touchdowns on such throws on Sunday.
Much of that had to do with Diggs’s ability to make plays, and as the Vikings looked to extend its lead in the second half, he continued to do exactly that. The 25-year-old receiver added another touchdown in the third quarter, this one an 11-yard grab to widen Minnesota’s lead to 31–20.
Diggs’s renewed involvement didn’t just benefit the offense, either. With the success Cousins and Diggs found on Sunday, the Vikings defense found a spark of its own. Eric Kendricks forced a fumble on Zach Ertz that Anthony Barr returned 19 yards in the fourth quarter, and Mackensie Alexander recorded his second career interception to end Philadelphia’s next possession.
That’s not to say Diggs was perfect in the outing. He still had two drops, one of them a bobble that led to Cousins’s lone interception of the day. But the aerial attack was a staunch reversal from the unit’s fortunes through the first five weeks of the season. The Vikings ranked just 16th in scoring offense at 22.4 points per game and had beaten the Raiders, Giants and Falcons. Little, if anything, on that side of the ball looked worthy of inspiring hope.
Diggs changed that course on Sunday, and with road games looming (at Kansas City, Dallas, Seattle and Los Angeles) and home against Green Bay and Chicago to close out the season, the Vikings should be relieved to know they still have him to rely on.
They’ll need him—present and happy—if they hope to keep their postseason chances alive this season.
For now, he is. It’s up to the Vikings to keep it that way.
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