7-1 Never Felt So… Conflicting

After the away win in Washington, Minnesota’s win streak now sits at 6 games in a row with a 2nd seed spot in the NFC and a comfortable lead in the NFC North thanks to the Packers essentially collapsing before our very eyes. However, I’d be lying if I said it felt like the team was 7-1. Oftentimes the Vikings haven’t looked like a team that plays at the suspected level a 7-1 team would, and that it would be a matter of time before this team let those mistakes catch up with them.

The upcoming Bills game has often been seen as another major test for the Vikings since the last time they played another healthy playoff team, they lost handily on Monday night football to the Eagles. It does, however, look seemingly more likely that Josh Allen could potentially miss the game with an elbow injury that’s slowly proving to be worse than originally thought. Although it would suck that Minnesota wouldn’t face Buffalo at full strength, meaning it would be much like the Dolphins game in which the starting MVP quarterback was out for the contest, it’s important to recognize the quality that still remains in Buffalo. Minnesota would be getting let off the hook for sure, but as far as I’m aware, the rest of that team’s starters are playing and Buffalo just so happens to have pound for pound one of the most well rounded teams in the league. They’ll be a hard team to best regardless of who’s under center with the way the Vikings have been playing.

Speaking of the way the Vikings have been playing, the game in Washington may have been the most Vikings win so far this season. A strong first drive that’s well scripted and executed only to follow with a score less 2nd and 3rd quarter as the vikings failed to gain any traction or momentum. Not until the 4th quarter did the Vikings decide to play up to their potential and start scoring points again. The trend forming in this team isn’t amiable in any regard. A lack of consistency through all 4 quarters is what’s really stopping this team from being taken seriously. These 7 wins are great to have, but looking into each one is like recounting all the times the world could’ve ended through sheer luck and fortune. Minnesota has had bail out moments all season and at some point, that luck will run out. You can’t keep relying on your team to just sorta BS it in the final 8 minutes of every game. At least the defense is slowly but surely improving with guys like Akayleb Evans stepping up, but there’s still room to grow in feeling like this team doesn’t have tissue paper for defense. Of course the no-call on the referee running into Cam Bynum left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth but at a certain point, you just gotta move on and do your best to get back those 7 points. Yes it’s ridiculous, but it’s also redundant to complain as living in the past is what got Zimmer fired in the first place.

It’s getting a little old saying the team “has time to put it together” for the postseason season because to simply put it, this feels like the exact same team from week 3 and on and even at points like the team from week 1. The lack of improvement is only overshadowed by the high floor the team gave itself and it’s honestly only ever played under that threshold once, when in Philly where the team played exceptionally poorly. The team is predictable, and the lack of improvement makes me think it’s only a matter of time before the team eventually beats itself. We can laugh and enjoy Kirko for the next few weeks, but it’s important to never forget that this is how those 13 win Lafleur teams felt in Green Bay, and we all know how that’s turned out. Let’s just hope Kevin O’Connell isn’t the snake oil salesman Lefleur’s turned out to be.
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