For the third time this season, the Vikings lose and in two of those, including this Sunday’s 26-23 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, it featured a below-100-yard game by star running back Dalvin Cook. But it really isn’t all doom and gloom, as the Vikings still have a great chance of making the playoffs.
- KC QB stats: Matt Moore 25/35, 275 Yards, 1 TD
- MN QB stats: Kirk Cousins 19/38, 220 Yards, 3 TDs
Kirk Cousins still looks somewhat legit, although completing 50% of his passes is less than impressive considering recent form. However, nobody can blame him for the loss. Three touchdowns are still impressive, and the kind of return expected from the star QB.
The slow starts to the game have been common this season, and occur in either half for the Vikings, but tonight, the team just seemed sluggish throughout. This led to the issue of games becoming too close and often being focused on one missed call.
Against KC, this appears to have been a missed extra point, which would have had the game tied after a KC field goal. This changed the dynamic of the game and forced Head Coach Mike Zimmer to be more aggressive with the ball in the fourth quarter. This led to a potential game-winning drive as opposed to the conservative play-calling that ended with a turnover and KC’s Harrison Butker nailing the winning kick.
The issues come on the defensive side of the ball, allowing 419 total yards, giving away simple penalties and making mistakes, as well as big play potential including a 92-yard rushing TD from the Chiefs.
Zimmer keeps going on about fixing these mistakes, but we’re past the halfway point of the season and they’re still occuring, from blown coverage to silly penalties (three for 25 yards offensively). Added to this is the loss of receiver Adam Thielen, who took himself out of the game due to a hamstring injury – a blow to our playoff aspirations.
Mike Zimmer himself describes the loss as “not the end of the world” and knows what tweaks have to be made, which sounds like a cookie-cutter Zimmer press conference.
It’s not an amazing situation but it is not a finished season either. Sitting at 6-3 is still good enough to achieve a Wildcard spot should results go their way, and this writer has the team going 8-3 before facing Seattle.
Our next opponents, Dallas, aren’t in the greatest form despite the W against the Giants on Monday night. But if the Vikings can fix the mistakes made against KC and still apply the same pressure as they did on Chiefs QB Matt Moore to disrupt the Cowboys’ Dak Prescott, then the Vikings can easily go 7-3 even on prime time.
Featured Picture – Credit: David Eulitt/Getty Images