(A really odd moment at the end included Kirk Cousins punching Mike Zimmer in the chest, and grabbing his shirt. Kirk says that he was trying to fire up Zimmer, but I don't think that's what Zimmer thought. Really odd moment.)
Well, I didn't have high hopes for this game and i was still severely disappointed. I believed, and said earlier in the week that I thought this game would go the way of the Texans game back in 2020, where the Vikings are ahead, but the Texans had a chance to win at the end. The only difference is, was that I didn't think the Lions would do what the Texans couldn't. They not only got the TD, but also the 2-Pt conversion, and for a brief 37 seconds, the Vikings were down to the Lions. I was expecting a nail bitter, but ultimately one where the Lions would whiff at the end, and we could breathe a sigh of relief. There was no relief to be had here. Now, before I go into everything I disliked about the game, let's cover the good:
- Justin Jefferson and Alexander Mattison (barring the one play) looked absolutely fantastic.
- Christian Darrisaw saw the field and looked better than Rashod Hill by a country mile.
- Kirk Cousins led this team down in the field in 37 seconds and finally gets his Game-Winning-Drive that he should've gotten in Week 2. This is the 3rd time in 5 weeks where Kirk has led the offense on a drive to get into a position to win the game.
- The Defense held the Lions Offense to 9 points, and only allowed the TD after a fumble where the Lions had to go only 20~ yards. The defense played well over all, but there were weak links *cough,Breeland,cough*. Kendricks had one hell of an INT, and Griffen looked like his old self.
- Dalvin Cook was allowed to rest, which was something I was saying we should do back on Wednesday.
- Game Management
- The decision to not go for a FG or TD at the end of the second when we had 40~ seconds and 2 TO's remaining.
- The decision to throw on 3rd down instead of running the ball to make Detroit spend their final timeout.
- Doing three straight runs up the middle, which ended with Mattison fumbling the ball.
- Ammer Abdullah fielding that kick which most likely would've gone out of bounds, putting us at the 40 instead of the 20.
I wish this team had the killer instinct that the Packers have. When the Packers get into a position where they have some time left on the clock before the half, they go for it, and I wish we would too. We had plenty of time, and only had to go maybe 40-45 yards to get into range. We had 40~ seconds and 2 TO's. We could've done it.
If they had run the ball instead of passing it, the Vikings would've been a few yards closer, and the Lions would've had to use their last timeout. Keep in mind, we ended up kicking a FG, and it was the one that was short of the uprights. We get another 2 yards and he kicks it the same way, he makes that kick, and it's not much of a question as to if the Lions could come back. Instead, the Lions had a TO, and good field position with 3:20~ remaining. They were able to save about 20~ seconds by having that time out, and it's very likely that the Vikings would've gotten the ball back somewhere around the 2-minute warning, and 3 knees would've most likely won the game without all the last game shenanigans.
We didn't do that however, and the Lions got a FG, and we needed to get a 1st down to win the game. We ran up the middle on 1st and 2nd downs, getting only 3 yards, before Mattison's fumble. I don't blame him for being forced to run up the gut and fumbling. We should've ran outside, or taken a pass here. The Lions were ready for a run, and when presented, they stopped them dead and stripped the ball out.
Although, it wouldn't have really mattered had Abdullah either a) let the kickoff ball go out of bounds, which we'd get at the 40 or b) had one foot out of bounds and one foot inbounds so that when he caught it, it'd be ruled out of bounds and we'd get it at the 40. Instead, he caught it like normal, and we had to start at the 20. 3 straight run plays later, the Lions have fantastic field position, which they capitalized on.
And above all, just from watching the team for the entire game, this team was poorly coached from top to bottom. Now, I will admit to overreacting just a little bit after the game, but I will stand by what i said: I think we should fire Mike Zimmer. This was, by far, the worst coaching performance I've ever seen, and had it been by a really good team, we would've said Zimmer got out coached. The issue is, we were facing the 0-4 Lions, which isn't a good team (although they fight hard). Zimmer outcoached himself. And I'm just tired of dealing with a team that, on paper, has a treasure trove of talent, but we refuse to use it the way it needs to be used. And I don't think Zimmer is the one to get this team to where it needs to be.
I did have the Vikings winning this game, so my prediction came true. So far, I'm 5/5 on Vikings games.
Week 5 Predictions:
Panthers vs Eagles
It seems that the Eagles figured out how to Football in the 2nd half and proceeded to curb stomp the Panthers. I still think the Panthers are a dark-horse WC team, and I think that our date with them next week is gong to be interested.
Bengals vs Packers
So close, yet so far away. Crosby missed three FG's and an XP, and the Bengals had a shot at the end to win, but their kicker just barely missed it. I like the Bengals, and think that they are another potential dark-horse WC for the AFC.
Jets vs Falcons
I feel bad for the Brits that had to watch the first Tank Bowl of the year, but it seems that Cordarrelle Patterson has resurrected his career as a RB. The man always had the talent, he just wasn't used properly, so, good for him. Also, this means that all 3 of my Revised Predictions were wrong.
Two Games still need to reach their natural conclusion, and this will update when that happens.
- Week 5: 9-7
- Revised Predictions: 0-3
Chiefs vs WFT
I believe that had Fitzmagic been playing, they would win this game, but with Heinicke, I think the Chiefs get another notch on their belt.
Buccaneers vs Eagles
I figured the Bucs would regress at some point, and no, no they haven't. I think it'll be close, but the Bucs will edge out the Phillies.
I think the Panthers are the better team, and as such, I think that they'll win the game. It'll be off a last second FG, and we'll go into the bye at 2-4. After the performance of the Vikings, I don't think they'll beat anyone in their next 6 games.
I originally had them going 1-5 in this 6 game stretch, but with the Panthers outdoing my expectations and the Vikings underperforming, I think 0-6 is, unfortunately, rather likely. 4 of these games are on the road, and the two at home are the Packers and the Cowboys. This is easily, the hardest stretch of the season. If, by some miracle, we go 3-3, I'll consider that a victory, since after that, I have the Vikings going... 3-3, which would mean we'd end the season with a 8-9 record. Wow. I just remembered how difficult this schedule is, and how much those two losses in Weeks 1 and 2 could haunt us.
- September 1st Regular Season Predictions: 52-28
- Revised Predictions: 4-4
- Week 1: 8-8
- Week 2: 11-5
- Week 3: 12-4
- Week 4: 12-4
- Week 5: 9-7
For those who want to make their own predictions, I use this: NFL Playoff Predictor.
I am interested to see what you're opinions are of the game the Vikings had, as well as what you expect for the next week of football, not just from the Vikings, but around the entire league. Do you have any upsets in mind for this coming week, or are things going to be quite predictable?