Coming into week 8 there wasn’t very much to say on the positive side in regards to the Minnesota Vikings. They have been having a very hard season and had managed only one win in six games. However, it has been said many times, on paper they have the talent and they should be putting up more of a fight.
The Green Bay Packers, on the other hand, have been having a strong year with only one loss in the same amount of games. Not only that, they had home-field advantage, yet somehow the Vikings woke up and scored a huge win. Now for week nine, they are going back home to host the Detroit Lions, What can happen from here? Let’s take a look at the Vikings week nine preview.
Riding the High of an Unexpected Win
With their defense hurting, literally, the Vikings haven’t been able to keep pace with many teams this year. Always by the end of the game, the lack of strength and stamina would ultimately show in the other team’s score. But yet they found a way to win and controlling the clock was a key factor in doing that. Even though both the Vikings and Packers scored a touchdown in the first quarter, the two drives that got the scores ate up the entire time of the first quarter.
If the offense can manage to control the clock the same way in week nine, it will give the battered defense a chance to try to keep the Lions off the field as much as possible. They can stick with their running game, which was the main reason they won against the Packers. Dalvin Cook was the star of the offense, scoring four touchdowns, one receiving and three rushing. The only drawback will be the Lions should be prepping for him and they will have to shake up the plays. If they do this then it is totally possible to find openings and put up the same numbers as last week.
Photo by Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via Getty Images
Even though Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has a lot of years of experience, he is not performing well in the past weeks at all. In week eight he only threw for 160 yards and one touchdown. There are those that question how much longer he will have his position. This truly shows how quickly things can change in the NFL, considering how well he and the Vikings did last year. This year they seem to be a different team, though, confusing fans and sportscasters alike.
How Much is Coaching to Blame?
As this reporter has mentioned multiple times this season, the coaching changes the Vikings made in the offseason seems to be having a bad effect on the team. There would be that old saying “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”. Granted, it wasn’t something they were looking for but having a new offensive coordinator and a defensive coordinator in the same year is a bigger adjustment than most teams have to do. A lot of blame is falling on head coach Mike Zimmer, but there is enough to go around.
On the offensive side, perhaps they should try to let Cousins off the leash a little bit and see how him calling his own audibles would work. At this point, it couldn’t go worse than how they have been playing and might just throw the other teams off enough to gain ground on them. The defensive side can’t get rolling because of the injuries sustained this year and the trade of Yannick Ngakoue.
Week nine is the official mid-way point of the season. If the Vikings are going to wake up and make a real push, it’s now or never. There is seemingly a lot of untapped potential on this team, and the moral lift of beating their biggest rival should be able to give them what they need to push them over the hump and beat the Lions. They have to be very careful, though, as the Lions are also much better than their record. Letting them get any kind of a lead may be unrecoverable.
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