The Minnesota Viking may be sitting pretty at 8-2 overall, but their last game was a rough outing against the now 7-3 Dallas Cowboys.
They’ve accomplished the feat of winning close games five-times after coming back from behind to win on game-winning drives. Such wins over the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills have made the Vikings record shine.
After losing to the Cowboys on Sunday and with many more games still left to be played, the Cowboys are teaching the Vikings how hard the Super Bowl journey can be with such a thrashing victory. If the Vikings want to take it all the way in the NFC to the Super Bowl, here are some ideas they might want to listen to.
Reasons for Concern
While they bring with them a four-game lead in their division, they had two big losses of concern. The one Sunday against the Cowboys and the other one in week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles, (24-7).
Those are the very two teams that are the quality of play that Minnesota will need to beat to proceed out of the conference to the Super Bowl, so there may be concern.
What Happened Against the Cowboys?
The Cowboys controlled the Vikings in all 3-phases of the offense on Sunday. Dak Prescott had an 88% completion rate, racked up 276 yards through the air, and scored two touchdowns. He was relieved quickly due to a big lead. Backup running back Tony Pollard had a total of 189 yards from scrimmage with a receiving and rushing touchdown. Ezekiel Elliot ran for 47 yards and a touchdown. Dallas scored every time on their first-seven drives and never punted until 3:55 left in the third quarter.
First drive of the day for the defense and ☝️ takeaway on the board thanks to @MicahhParsons11! 🦁
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) November 20, 2022
Defensively, the Cowboys were on fire. They only allowed 73 yards on the ground, which gave their pass rush the green light to chase Kirk Cousins. Five players sacked Cousins seven times, counting Micah Parsons strip sack on Minnesota’s first drive.
Special teams did their part too, as kicker Brett Maher made all four field-goal attempts and four extra points. His field goals made were from; 27, 50, 53 and 60 yards. He actually made the 60-yard field goal twice, as there was a bizarre review called that needed Maher to kick it again.
The Cowboys played a full- 60 minute game after squandering a 14 point fourth quarter lead last week in a 31-28 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Dallas hopped back into second place in the NFC East, now two games back to the Philadelphia Eagles. Still, the Boys have a 99% chance of making the playoffs.
What Happened to the Vikings?
To make matters worse the Vikings were so ineffective for the guys in Purple and Gold, that Justin Jefferson who made a spectacular 4th and 18th catch against the Buffalo Bills last week could only muster 33 yards for five catches.
Also, the quarterback play was abysmal too. Cousins only threw for 105 yards and no touchdowns. No one was able to reach the end zone and the Vikings could only score a field goal. Minnesota averaged 4.3 yards rushing, but were completely outperformed in time of possession as the Silver and Blue kept the ball for 37 minutes and 24 seconds to Minnesota’s 22 minutes and 36 seconds.
What’s Next for the Vikings?
The question now is how will their upcoming games against the New England Patriots and New York Jets truly affect their playoff potential?
Minnesota now has two inspiring wins against the (7-3) Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins whom both come from the AFC East. The win against Buffalo was significant as they came back from 17-points against Josh Allen who is a great QB. It also signifies that their win against the Dolphins was against backup QB and former Viking Teddy Bridgewater, while starter Tua Tagovailoa was in the concussion protocol.
Six of the NFC teams that the Vikings have beaten only have a combined winning percentage of .390, so it’s been a very easy conference schedule to say the least. The one team in the NFC that has a winning record in the conference is the Washington Commanders who are 6-5.
This year’s Vikings do deserve credit for their eight wins, especially going from 1-8 in one-score games last year to 7-1. In a league that has more parity than ever before, the Vikings celebrate the toughness of their players and the awareness established by their motivated and smart coaches,
Who the Vikings really are?
The Vikings indeed are 8-2 and are a decent regular season team able to win a bunch of games. But what can they do heading into the playoffs? What can the team bring heading into the playoffs? What can we expect from them?
When it really counts, can they come through in the clutch?
Sunday’s loss may have foreshadowed that conclusion. We will definitely have to wait and see.
Let me know what you think?
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