Free Game From 50: These Three Things

Vikings
Sep 26, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) catches a pass against the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Coaches finally felt the heat on their seats and chose violence. Zim and his staff called the game with a sense of urgency that fans – mostly myself – having been calling for all season. While there were moments of regression to conservatism they sat down on those seats and hit the gas when needed.

Zim was able to create pressure, and the illusion of pressure that would’ve made “Ol” Zim proud. The OC, who shall remain nameless, realized that Jefferson is special and should get the ball. The OC, who shall remain nameless, stuck with the run enough to allow it to create plays down field. As with everything in life, consistency is key. They’re not off the hook in my book. I hope they feel the fire for the rest of the season. Winning is fun.    

Kendricks’ sack set the tone for the defense. He appears to be the free man in Cover 1. He can help or add. He decided to play downhill fast and dictate the pace of the game. The rest of the defense followed suit. Far from perfect, but the defense played tough and aggressive throughout. That’s going to give you a chance in any fight. Some media outlets have had this as a down week for Kendricks. Can’t measure heart, and how you bring men along with you. Shout-out to Nick Vigil.   

Kirk has his own energy. I respect him even more for it. I’ve been asked why I defend Captain. Prior to Sunday, I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then it hit me. The Vikings have been in every game this year because Kirk just responds. No matter what seems to come he’s ready for the next moment. As a player who has had to get back up, I tip my hat when I see it. He had a turnover early and was accosted most of the game. He stood tall and responded. Pressure coming, find #18. 3rd and 20 to keep a defense off the field that struggles in 2 min situations, find old reliable for 18 yards. You get my drift. Whatever energy it is fans will take it if it means more wins. 

May be cliche but the Vikings won that game solely with attitude. It was another odd feeling game for fans to watch, waiting for the inevitable let down. This time, after rounds of body shots, the Vikes were finally able to deliver the knockout blow themselves. 

Editor’s Note: The “Free Game From 50” series is a weekly article from former NFL linebacker Erin Henderson. In his eight seasons, Erin played for the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets. Erin’s best season came as a Viking; in 2013, he accumulated four sacks and 113 tackles (12 of which were TFLs). After retiring, Erin coached at Avila University. He has since been focusing his time on covering the Vikings and raising his dogs. You can find Erin on Twitter.

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