LIFE OF A VIKING
The life of a Viking fan is very singular in the NFL and is unlike any other. The winningest franchise without a Super Bowl win with an up and down roller coaster ride over the years.
The Vikings arrived in Chicago for a Monday NightFootball matchup once again with the odds against them. Kirk Cousins came into the game with a 0-9 record on Monday and 0-3 against the Bears as a Viking. Gary Kubiak has a very defined game plan of utilizing Dalvin Cook to force the Bears to fill the box and pick on Buster Skrine the rest of the way. The plan was successful. The Bears displayed a pitiful offense and Nick Foles was unable to help their cause. Kirk Cousins executed his assignment of the night playing a very solid mistake free game. The result was a well deserved win for Minnesota and Cousins first on Monday night.
Cowboys was a trap game
After a 3 game winning streak it takes cool heads to realize you haven’t accomplished much being 4-5 for the season. But the Vikings defense is full of young players who are learning along the way. In the NFL when you play “America’s team” regardless of their record the penalty flags will fly easier in their favor. So you have to overcome the Cowboys and their friends. Minnesota’s defense went back to its all ways and did not apply any pressure to QB Andy Dalton throughout the game and showed below par play at the CB position once again. CB Chris Jones showed perhaps one of the worst tackling displays I’ve seen in recent memories in a Viking uniform when RB Tony Pollard scored a back breaker TD for the Cowboys. Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson continued having a sensational season however the defensive woes was enough for the Vikings to fall short and lose the game 31-28.
Panthers and a familiar foe
The Carolina Panthers and Teddy Bridgewater are the next rivals for the Vikings at US Bank stadium. With little left to play this Covid ridden season, Minnesota should take this opportunity to continue and evaluate players that will be part of the building blocks of the future. Players like DJ Wonnum, Kris Boyd, Jeff Gladney and Eric Wilson will challenge to be the new core defense on this team. Special teams is another much maligned unit with several miscues that will be looking for improvement. Ironically as the Vikings have had their kicking struggles Dan Bailey has been solid this year and the mishaps are in other areas. Punt returner KJ Osborn has been heavily criticized however I believe his lack of production has been more related to lack of optimal coverage.
There has been much talk about Kirk Cousins and his contribution or lack there of with the Vikings. The reality is the NFL has evolved into a system QB league. The off the cuff gunslingers are mostly extinct and players such as Cousins, Ryan Tannehill and Jared Goff are in fact QBs of high value because of their adaptability to a system. Is this going to be enough to carry the Vikings to the promise land? I don’t think so in my opinion. To increase your odds at winning a championship you need the system QB with the “it” factor. Finding that QB is easier said than done but the Vikings have gone 50 years empty handed. The Kansas City Chiefs were on the same boat with a very high quality system QB in Alex Smith but they took a chance. And we all know the rest of the story. They didn’t want to go another 50 years without a championship.