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Vikings Lay an Egg

It was a good run

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings got blown out in every respect against the Cowboys at US Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon. They played bad from beginning to end. There were no silver linings. There weren’t any individual performances that were remarkably positive despite the blowout loss. Nothing went well for the Vikings all afternoon.

The playmaking heroics vanished. The were no positive vibes. There was no comeback of any kind, nor even any threat of a Vikings score after the first quarter. The defense didn’t stop the Cowboys offense once when it mattered. It was as complete a defeat as your likely to see in NFL past, present or future.

Flush It and Move On

The extent of the blowout at the hands of the Cowboys, a good not great team which lost to the Packers a week ago, suggests a Vikings team spent after a big win last weekend at the Bills. The dynamics of the season make it difficult for a team to rally every week and the Vikings were simply flat and without any sort of competitive energy all afternoon. It wasn’t a question of game plan, scheme, any individual performances, or failure to perform in key situations. It was all of the above all day long. The Vikings just didn’t have anything in the tank.

But the nature of the loss leaves little to draw from except this is what happens when a team lacks energy in the NFL. Beyond that, time to move on to preparing for Thursday’s game.

Bouncing Back is Key

The easy part about a blowout loss like this one is moving on from it. The hard part is regaining the hunger, the competitive energy, and the momentum lost. The Vikings will wake up tomorrow with a game in three days so there isn’t a lot of time for rest and recovery before hitting the field again.

Recharging emotionally and mentally, and regaining the positive, playmaker mindset they’ve had in the past will be a critical test for Kevin O’Connell and this Vikings team. Both physically and mentally, the Vikings need to regain the edge that was lost Sunday afternoon.

Sometimes a game like this can be a crossroads for a team. Either they never really regain the mojo they had previously or they do and are maybe even better for the experience. This will be the challenge for Kevin O’Connell and company.

Quick Chance to Right the Ship

The Vikings have an early opportunity to right the ship with a Thanksgiving night game. Away teams that have to travel on a short week can be at a disadvantage. But for the Vikings, they will have to bounce back without Christian Darrisaw in all likelihood, as he suffered a second concussion in as many games and would seemingly be unlikely to clear the concussion protocol in just a few days. Ezra Cleveland also exited with an undisclosed injury, so his status for the Thanksgiving game is also a question mark. They may also be without Akayleb Evans, who is also in concussion protocol since the Bills game.

The Patriots look to have lost both starting left tackle Isiah Wynn and starting center David Andrews in their game against the Jets, so that’ll put their offensive line in a similar bind as the Vikings for their Thursday night matchup.

In any case, it will be critical for the Vikings to get back on track after laying an egg against the Cowboys. Bouncing back with a win on Thanksgiving followed by a mini-bye week could be just the thing for the Vikings to position themselves for the stretch run.

Biggest Challenge for KOC and the Vikings Leadership So Far

Recharging the team’s batteries after the worst performance of the season on a short week will be the biggest challenge Kevin O’Connell and the Vikings’ captains and team leaders have faced this season.

Clearly the energy required to pull out seven one-score wins in a row, culminating in the game of the season win at Buffalo, has drained the team to the point where their batteries were empty for the Cowboys game.

The Bill Belichick-led Patriots are unlikely to lay down for the Vikings, and just had their bye-week prior to the Jets game today, so they’ve had plenty of time to prepare for the Vikings.

Stay tuned.


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