Good morning Horners! Here is your postgame reaction show where coming out of the bye week, the Minnesota Vikings went into Soldier Field to battle the Chicago Bears. The problem with that was that it really wasn’t much of a battle. Our beloved Vikings were not favored to win, and as usual, Vegas was correct. Join me, Drew Bunting, and Ted Glover as we discussed, or should it be disgust, the action of the evening.
This game put many Vikings fans’ expectations in doubt. Ted and Drew both discuss the frustration that comes from watching the purple underperform and make mistakes, and especially in critical situations in a way that just rips at one’s fandom. The three of us are called the Grampa Division because of our age and the fact that we have followed this team for over five decades, or nearly that. I guess there is an honor to what seems like the futility of being a Minnesota fan. There are only a few fan bases, like the Buffalo Bills, or even the Detroit Lions in the NFL that no such pain. Not to offend anybody else, like Cleveland Brown fans, and there are probably a couple others, but with the team playing in its 58th season it can wear on you.
Mike Zimmer and his coaches had plenty of opportunities to plan for this game. The Vikings came off their bye week and basically had two full weeks to prepare for Mitch Trubisky and his scrambling abilities, along with Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks rushing skills. It wasn’t until the second half, however that any adjustments appeared to be made to spy on the Bears quarterback and none made to slow down the rush. In looking at the game logs, it appears that tight end Kyle Rudolph only assisted Riley Reiff once on a chip block. A team in its fifth year under the same head coach, Mike Zimmer, even with a new offense of coordinator, shouldn’t make these repeated poor strategic decisions. Especially, when you consider they had two weeks to prepare. That now makes a record of 2-3 for Mike Zimmer coming out of the bye. I do not recall Dennis Green or even Mike Tice having an issue playing after a bye week.
Kirk Cousins did not look sharp, in fact, he was compared to Christian Ponder in his throws and some of his decisions. His throws were off target too many times, and then there were the inexplicable interceptions. He wasn’t the only one on the offense that failed to live up to expectations either. Dalvin Cook had another game with a fumble and other than about one decent run was bottled up most of the day. We attribute most of this to the offensive line play, but a good chunk goes to John DeFilippo’s poor game calling of plays. He joined the Vikings with all the hype of being a one-year wonder that would go on to be a head coach next year, but yet that type of offensive play calling and in-game adjustments have yet to be consistently seen, and not just game to game, but from quarter to quarter. Questionable play calls, especially when trying to come from behind, instill no-confidence in a fan base that is thirsting for the success that was promoted and anticipated by the organization.
We talked about the moral victories, not that they’re worth a W in the win column, but are still nice to hear. Anthony Harris had another very good game with two interceptions and overall good play. He very much looks to have won the starting spot opposite Harrison Smith even once Andrew Sendejo gets healthy. Stephen Weatherly had another good game as a rotational player and is continuing to show his improvement, especially when it was him that stretched out plays towards the sideline so they could be stopped. The other moral victory of the night came from the best wide receiver tandem in the league, where Stefon Diggs had over 100 yards receiving, and Adam Thielen became only the second player in Minnesota Vikings history, tying Randy Moss, to getting to 1,000 yards the quickest in a season. Both Adam and the GOAT did it in 10 games.
Not to worry, this isn’t a completely “woe is me” show. We do have our laughs, especially when I get a phone call in the middle of recording. I guarantee you’ll watch and laugh at that point. We also ask you to give us your thoughts about the Vikings need to do for the rest of the season.
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As always, enjoy the watch!