That was ugly to watch. The Vikes fall to 1-5 and look like hot garbage while doing it. I have said in the last few reports that again I am not Ted but here is a little bit about myself. I am a lifelong Vikings fan who grew up in Minnesota. I have been living in Wisconsin for a few years but still love the Vikings, heartbreak and all. I am a letter carrier for the post office and end up working a lot of Sundays so I usually have to watch the Vikings on game pass. Full disclosure i actually like Kirk Cousins overall but can point out when he goes full bad Kirk. This game was hard to watch after last week where we almost got over our lose to the Seahawks thing I thought maybe this week would be better. Boy was I wrong, instead the Vikings no show against Atlanta. On the plus side we are getting ourselves in better position for Trevor Lawrence. On to the report!
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Justin Jefferson: Jefferson is on a roll since they started getting him involved in the game more he has made big plays and become a go to target for Cousins. Today he was the brightest point on our offense. He is running routes well and has filled an outside receiver role better than I thought he would. Jefferson is trending up and I hope will only get better.
Adam Thielen: Thielen continues to play well, he didn't get enough targets in this game but what he got he did a good job of working with. I was nervous when his head hit the turf after that long reception, then he eased my worries by coming back and grabbing a TD pass after an excellent end zone route.
The Thielen and Jefferson Families: A highlight oi this game was seeing how the families of our star wideouts enjoyed seeing their loved ones play. Especially when Jefferson got that TD and later 2pt conversion his parents were thrilled that is a big plus.
Irv Smith: Irv made some more good catches today but also dropped a TD pass that hit him in the hands, it was low but you have to catch that. I was very impressed with his 4th down conversion catch. After some struggles the first few weeks Irv seems to be finding a groove.
Harrison Smith: This one might be a shock but I felt Harrison did a pretty good job today. Watching that first Julio td Harrison was in position only to have Dantzler run into him. Smith seemed to be all over the field and trying to help all of his teammates, he also got ran over by Eric Wilson at one point.
The Vikings outside of the 4 players mentioned above: Now I could try to list everyone who was bad today but this was just awful. The rest of the Vikings seemed to play lethargic, and the entire team seemed checked out at various points in the game. Cousins had 3 horrible picks and was bad Kirk for most of the game, he had a couple bright spots but not enough. The Oline struggled and the DLine also got in on the struggle action, I want to give them some credit for early on but then they let 1000 year old Matt Ryan run on them. How Matt Ryan is almost as slow as Brady he shouldn't get more than 2 yds. Ezra Cleveland should not play guard, watching 93 go around his shoulder on one sack looked like the kind of forced around you want from a tackle where there might be some help on the outside but not from your guard. Our CBs continue to struggle, which I expect to be the case for a while, Dantzler was out of position on the 1st Julio TD and Gladney got in on the fun with the 2nd one. Then of course we forget how to run the ball without Cook, Mattison gets his start but he was up and down all game and the play calling seemed to be similar to the start of the 2nd half in Seattle.
Mike Zimmer: Every year we see this, Zimmer doesn't get his team ready for a game after an emotional game. Beat the Saints and we look lost against Philly and the 49ers, lose to Seattle and we are not ready for the Falcons. In his post game press conference he says the offense was bad but doesn't know why. His defense is still a work in progress this year and he just looks complacent on the sidelines. A head coach needs to get his team ready no matter who the opponent is and Zimmer just doesn't seem to get it done.
Predicable Play Calling: The announcers were able to tell when you figure out what Zimmer wants to do with his defense and its getting clear with each passing week that Stefanski had a bigger say in the offense than I initially thought. There was just little to like about the coaching in general today, IStock Market Report 2.0 Vikings-Atlanta usually like going for it on 4 and 1 but only down 10 points take the 3 and get something.
This section returns, I will list a few young players that i think are generally trending up and worth keeping an eye on.
Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler: So these guys got roasted a bit in the previous section, but Gladney had a force fumble and Dantzler has improved on his tackling. They are still struggling against top NFL wideouts but each week it seems they get a little better. This was always going to be a tough start on the new guys, so despite the struggles I think they will work out long term.
Ezra Cleveland: So his play at guard today was not great but I do think he has potential to play tackle and i really wish they would not play him out of position.
Harrison Hand: Harrison Hand went in when Hughes left and didn't stand out as a huge problem which was a plus, and even though he got stiff armed by Gurley was in position to make a tackle, for a 5th round pick thrust into action he handled...himself well.,
Buy Kirk Cousins was a major factor in losing: Yes we can not deny that Kirk's 3 interceptions and struggles today were a huge cause of this loss
Sell all the Cousins focus this week: With that being said, its time to look beyond Kirk for what is going on with the Vikings. Its easy to hate on the high paid QB and hyper focus on his play but Zimmer has had these kind of games pop up every year of his career as a coach. We need to start talking more about the issues at head coach for this team.
Buy Zimmer has been successful: Yes, Mike Zimmer has had a lot of success here in Minnesota and its been a fun ride to watch the Vikings the last 6 seasons.
Sell Zimmer can take this team all the way: We talk a lot about how Kirk Cousins can not lead a team to a super bowl win, but i maintain that he could Joe Flacco his way into one. Mike Zimmer on the other hand has hit his ceiling as a coach in my opinion. He always shifts blame away from losses and honestly just doesn't seem willing to give more freedom to the offense. The old school coach and NFL style of play is fading fast and Zimmer seems unwilling to change.
Buy road to a top QB: The Vikings are still on track to be able to get one of the top 3 QBs in this next draft and I think they need to take this opportunity
Sell The Vikes will get the 1st overall pick: Yeah despite getting embarrassed at home by an 0-5 team i think the Vikings will still land between 6 and 10. We might need to give up some draft capital if we want one of the big 3.
Today was just a clusterf*** of errors and it was ugly to watch. I think the Wilfs need to take a long look at Zimmer and Spielman and probably move on from them at the end of the year. I think we need some fresh ideas and a head coach who has more than just a tolerance for offense. But there is a lot of football left to play and the Vikings could still miraculously slip into the playoffs, get bounced and leave us too late in the 1st round for a top QB it would be a very Vikings thing to do.