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Minnesota Vikings News and Links, 26 September 2023

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.” — W. C. Fields

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Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

There has been a ton of wailing and gnashing of teeth over the latest loss. Who is to blame, what is the fix, should they tank, should they make trades, etc.

A winless start is NOT what many fine fans anticipated or predicted. What can the team do though? What should Kwesi Adofo-Mensah do?

I do not think any trade is going to happen nor do I believe it would fix anything. The idea of tanking is hard to imagine actually happening. Too many players playing for new deals to not give their all. The team has a good chance of not having a very good record simply because they are not actually that good. The interior offensive and defensive lines leave a lot to be desired. The defensive secondary is inexperienced save for Harrison Smith. Murphy has 3 and a half years under his belt and Bynum has a year (plus) games of experience under his belt. The linebackers are inexperienced save for Hicks.

The team really has JJ, Cousins, O’Neill, Darrisaw, Hockenson, & Addison on offense. They have Smith and Hunter on defense and these two could be gone next year. The rest of the defense is either inexperienced or on one year deals that may or may not get extended.

Tanking will happen naturally if it does.

The main issue that seems to be thriving in most of the post game discussion is why didn’t Cousins spike the ball and why was KOC not telling him to spike it.

Cousins said he could not hear KOC and KOC took the blame by saying he should have told Cousins to spike it instead of wanting to get a play off. KOC has received a ton of criticism because of this and it is hard to find many comments commending him for taking the blame and protecting his player as much as possible.

If all things are to be believed, then Cousins did not hear KOC so he was in control. It does not matter if KOC wanting him to run a play. Cousins decided to run a play and took 27 seconds or so before getting the ball snapped. That is on the QB and on the QB alone. He is the Captain, the leader of the offense, and in control of the offense at that point in time. Even if you say it was OK to try and run a play, they still took a bit too long if they wanted 4 shots at the end zone instead of 3.

Oh well. On to Carolina. Can they beat Carolina with the Red Rifle running the team?

Since yore last open thread ...

Other Vikings News

Randomness aside, the Vikings have earned their losses. Their defense has allowed the seventh most points and sixth most yards in the NFL. Pro-Football Reference ranks then 26th in pressure percentage and opposing QBs have a 116.4 QB rating against them. The offense has been excellent at times but imperfect, scoring points on just 33% of their drives, which is 18th. Even after an improved day on the ground they are still 30th in rushing Expected Points Added and 102 out of Kirk Cousins’s 138 passing attempts have come playing from behind.
So why not send Wilson, 24, and, say, two third-round picks – the Jets spent next year’s second-rounder on Rodgers – to the Vikings for Cousins, 35, who’s scheduled to be a free agent at season’s end? With Rodgers vowing to return better than ever, there’s no reason to believe the Jets will pick up Wilson’s fifth-year option next spring. Yet there is reason to believe a quarterback of Cousins’ caliber – at least as it pertains to regular-season play – could reroute this entire organization in a positive direction culturally, if even as a substitute teacher.
“I think that’s something we’re going to fix one way or the other,” O’Connell said in an afternoon news conference. “Either guys are going to [fix] it or we’re going to have to put other guys in the game that have ball security.”
To Ingram’s credit, he had a great game as a run blocker in Sunday’s loss to the Chargers. He earned an elite 91.1 grade from Pro Football Focus in that department, helping open up numerous holes for Alexander Mattison. But any benefit Ingram may provide on the ground — and this was just his fourth game with a run blocking grade above 70 in 21 career contests — he negates with his pass protection.
Ingram allowed six more pressures against the Chargers, per PFF, bringing his season total to 13 (among guards, only Panthers rookie Chandler Zavala has allowed more). Two of those six pressures turned into sacks. Ingram was also flagged for holding twice (one was declined).

NFL News

Rank 26
Minnesota Vikings 0-3
Is the season over? No, but it’s getting late early. Brian Flores’ defense had acquitted itself fairly respectably in the first two games, even if the limitations were obvious. On Sunday, the unit was diced up by Justin Herbert and Co., unable to pressure him enough or cover on the back end. The Chargers threw 48 passes — 41 were completed, and Vikings DBs batted away only three throws. Actually, Akayleb Evans could have made it four, but his deflected pass went right to Joshua Palmer for a TD. That was bad luck, but the reality of the situation is that the defense has little chance to hang with elite offenses.
29 VIKINGS: At 0-3, their season is all but done. Climbing out of that hole won’t be easy, and the defense probably won’t make it possible.
24. Minnesota Vikings (0-3, LW: 23)
Let’s run this stat back: The Vikings were 11-0 in one-score games last season, an NFL record, and this season they’re 0-3. It seems like the Vikings are by far the best of the winless teams, but it’s tough to come back from 0-3. Only six teams in the Super Bowl era started 0-3 and made the playoffs. Since 2002, only one of 99 teams (the 2018 Texans) that started 0-3 made the postseason, via Fox 9 in Minnesota. The Vikings have lost three games by only 13 combined points and are in a world of trouble.
26. Minnesota Vikings (0-3)
Offensive efficiency: 41.0 (17th)
Biggest issue on offense: Turnovers
The Vikings lead the NFL with nine turnovers. Their seven lost fumbles are tied for the second most through three NFL weeks since at least 2000, and Kirk Cousins ‘ two interceptions have both been costly. One occurred at the goal line a Week 1 loss to the Buccaneers, and the other happened in the end zone to seal their Week 3 defeat against the Chargers . Coach Kevin O’Connell added new practice drills to address the fumble problems after Week 2, but tight end T.J. Hockenson fumbled to end their first possession in the ensuing game. It’s hard to overstate the significance of these turnovers to a team that has lost its three games by a mere 13 points. — Kevin Seifert

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