Every week, I seriously don’t think the wins can get any uglier, and every time so far I’ve been proven wrong. Your Minnesota Vikings beat the Miami Dolphins 24-16. Minnesota moves to (5-1) on the year, while Miami falls to (3-3). The offense looked bad for the most part, and so did the defense and the playcalling. So how did we win? Honestly, I’m still processing it. So, let’s process it together.
This offense is…yikes. The offensive line often plays worse than high school units I’ve seen, and the PLAYCALLING. What happened? Where did all that motion and modernization go? The Vikings were pinned at their own six yard line staring down a third and seven in the first quarter (one of, if not the worst quarter of Vikings football I can remember sitting through). Usually, especially with our saddening excuse for an offensive line, you’d want a short route and try to get the first down after the catch. A slant, maybe an in route? Imagine my pure frustration when I watched BOTH receivers out wide to the right run deep, breaking routes. Want to guess what happened? Kirk Cousins got turned into roadkill and almost got dropped for a safety. That isn’t even the most embarrassing stat from that first quarter. They went into the second quarter with less than 20 yards. I’m serious, they didn’t have a first down until then either. For this entire game, if the drive wasn’t a touchdown drive, we probably lasted five plays max. Dalvin Cook was manhandled and completely silenced this entire contest except for his 53-yard touchdown. This team just has far, far too much talent to be this completely lost and useless so often.
For the first time in what feels like (and probably has been) years, the Vikings’ defense outplayed the offense. Now, that wasn’t really hard in this match, but it’s still an accomplishment for such a lackluster side of the ball for the most part. This doesn’t, however, mean they played well. The classic Ed Donatell defensive playcalling is just as repulsive to all of my senses as ever, and decent tackling was seen few and far between. The defense showed up due to a few certain impact players. Jordan Hicks and Danielle Hunter both nabbed a sack, while Za’Darius Smith and Patrick Jones II had two sacks each. Of course, I absolutely have to highlight the geriatric miracle tandem of Patrick Peterson and Harrison Smith. Peterson played pretty strong coverage all game, knocking three passes away and grabbing an interception. Smith knocked two passes down, also got a pick, and forced a fumble that was recovered by Camryn Bynum.
I might have to make Ryan Wright his own paragraph, he just keeps giving me reasons to. A 73 YARD PUNT? Ridiculous. I was a little surprised that it only tied for fifth in Vikings history, but there’s another stat that might be more incredible. Rookie punter Ryan Wright had 441 PUNT YARDS TODAY. WHAT? HUH? You could blame this on the offense’s inactivity and inefficiency, and that makes sense. Even with that explanation, though, it doesn’t take much away from Wright punting the field length over four times over. Greg Joseph had a really pedestrian day, made his only field goal but missed another extra point, which is something that’s starting to make me more and more concerned.
Obviously, a win is a win. Eventually, though, I’d like to see a much more convincing one in the next few matches. Outside of our Week 1 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers and getting ourselves dismantled by the Philadelphia Eagles, every game has been decided by one possession. That can’t last, especially if this team has postseason aspirations. This, like every game this past month, has a ton of points and issues to take back to the practice field and attempt to work out.