By James Hill – Minnesota Vikings Writer
I’ll keep this brief, as I had shut the game off after 44 seconds into the 2nd Quarter as it just hurt to see us 21-0 down to Green Bay. Three Years unbeaten vs the Packers… gone.
The Vikings did not look like the same team that lined up Week 1 vs the Atlanta Falcons. Instantly, the team was caught napping on Defence, allowing Davante Adams to record 100+ Yards for the first time in 10 games vs the Vikes, and Aaron Jones to total 150 Yards in Offense. Shutdown quite early was the aim of the game vs Julio Jones in Week 1 but instead Rhodes was burnt on coverage several times leading to both Packers opening two touchdowns.
Offensively, Missing that early Field Goal was a tone-setter for what was to be considered a typical day for the Vikings and can be summed up in the famous saying “Close, but No Cigar.”
Furthering on the negatives (lets get this done first, can end on a high unlike the Vikings) the passing offence appears to be, for a lack of a better word, stalled. The production from Thielen/Diggs seen last season just isn’t there, and Cousins doesn’t appear to be in sync with his receivers, simply over-throwing or having a tunnel vision effect with a primary and not going through the progressions like a normal QB should – most notably on the first interception where he threw into TRIPLE COVERAGE on Diggs despite Beebe and Thielen being wide open seemingly, at least in comparison. Finally the 2 INT’s coming at worst possible times, especially in the RedZone, killed the game for us, can we truly say Kirk is clutch when this occurs?
The main issue coming out of the game is this, Zimmer and our General Manager paid over the odds for a QB designed to be “the missing piece” to a 13-3 Team who missed the Super Bowl due to one bad game. However, Since then, we’ve looked like a shadow of what we once were, but that’s not to say that Case Keenum or Kyle Sloter are better than Cousins because they’re not. It’s no surprise that Keenum is on his fifth team in as many years and Sloter is out on the Arizona Cardinals Practice Squad.
Neither player was good enough to be the contender, and slowly my belief is turning to neither is Cousins, a Quarterback who struggles against .500 teams and historically in the postseason, was it a situation of “who’s available?” when we were looking? Perhaps we should have stayed the course with Keenum, or given Teddy Bridgewater the chance to prove himself capable yet again.
Time, rather fortunately it may seem, is running out for Cousins who will be entering the last year of his deal in 2020, but is it too late? And will it come at the expense of Mike Zimmer? We’ll have to wait and see.
Even after the collapse and going 21-0 down, the Vikings at least made the score line respectable. Cousins, for his failures, did throw impressively on the clutch on occasion for 1 TD and had solid drives before the INT’s offering hope that, once the new playbook is fully established, comfort sets in and it looks more like Week 1 than it did Week 2. But that Defence, once it adjusted, produced a shutout for 14:16 of the 2nd Quarter and kept that to the end, so the philosophy of the team still appears to be “get out early, then let the D pin its ears back and just grind it” which is a good thing, its how Mike Zimmer wants to win ballgames and is a good way to do so, as the latest Super Bowl can attest to, Defences win Championships.
Final Score: Vikings 16 Packers 21.
In conclusion, it was not a good showing, but the effort on D, the flashes of promise and the returning troop from injury (we are desperate for it at CB) all point to Week 3 being much, much better. And don’t forget, we started 2-2 in 2017, still made the NFC Championship!