In a typical 17-recreation span, Kirk Cousins will have about nine good game titles, 5 elite, two meh, and a single complete clunker where he appears to be completely inept. On Sunday at Detroit, he authored a single of the elite performances, but it wasn’t very good more than enough, as the Vikings fell to the Lions by a rating of 34-23.
The Vikings now individual a 10-3 file, with a “magic number” of one to win the NFC North for the first time due to the fact 2017 and host at the very least 1 dwelling playoff activity. The reduction in Detroit definitely wasn’t an “all is lost” affair, but it deflated some Vikings fans’ enthusiasm about Tremendous Bowl contendership.
And the reduction was bewildering due to the fact the QB1 place forth his best sport — by much — of 2022, diming 425 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Cousins accomplished 76% of his passes and was just amazing for four quarters.
Regrettably, nobody will remember or care that Cousins was swelteringly scorching, as NFL media is obsessed with “QB Record” as a legit statistic, and this contest will be filed in the “L” column. Cousins plays on a soccer workforce with 52 other players, but his quarterback document will read loss in the box rating. The statistic is unusual and hoodwinks even the most wise of individuals.
Ahead of Sunday, teams that utilized a quarterback who handed for 425+ passing yards, 2+ landing passes, and picks in a single game had a file of 44-16 (.733) in NFL historical past. People groups have received 73% of the time because 1920. Perfectly, versus the Lions in Week 13, the Vikings and Cousins joined the 27% darkish aspect, not able to get a grip defensively and support Cousins’ wonderful outing. Minnesota’s protection handed Detroit 34 details on 464 yards received.
The implication? The Vikings have a tangible trouble. This is the time of the yr when good soccer teams need to be honing their craft, enhancing weaknesses, and sharpening strengths. Minnesota’s protection would seem hellbent on the opposite, getting to be dreadful considering the fact that the begin of the video game vs . the Dallas Cowboys. The group executed excellent in the 4th Quarter versus Buffalo in 7 days 10, but right after that, it is a sob tale of yards permitted and complete embrace of “bend but never split.”
Also, even all through a game in which Cousins seemed surgical, the Vikings felt like they required prayer to earn. That is problematic. Cousins can not enjoy defense. He can not snuff out fake punts. He’s the on-field architect of the offense and is accountable for about 50% of the team’s operations.
Nicely, he did his part on Sunday in his residence condition — to the tune of 425 yards, two scores, no turnovers, and a gaudy completion 76% charge.
It wasn’t sufficient. Supporters should really be anxious. The permeable “here, get all of these yards, but we will not allow you rating way too much” defense requires a rapid introspective and repair service on the fly. Or else, the Vikings will get rid of their initial or second playoff recreation, and all of the nationwide chat about “fraudulent Vikings” will be vindicated.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the College of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs each Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back again to 1996. Stated guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doorways (the band).