Vikings Post-Game: A Two Week Icarus Odyssey

Well, the Minnesota Vikings lose to the Philadelphia Eagles 24-7. I can’t put into words how disappointing this game was. I’m at a complete loss as to how you can go from doing almost nothing wrong of note only one week ago to completely collapsing into a rotting mess tonight. Hopefully, the Eagles actually do turn out to be a good team in the long run, because this game would be a massive blemish if not. Watching this game from end to end, it was really hard to think positively much after the Irv Smith Jr. drop. I guess we understand Aaron Rodgers’ pain now. It’s important, though, to try and figure out what all went so horribly wrong.

Where Did We Go?
Where can I even begin? Starting on the offensive side, it looked like a completely different playbook. The amount of motion plummeted, and the struggles that the o-line showed last week became full-blown meltdowns as Kirk Cousins was hung out to dry. Speaking of Kirk, why did K.J. Osborn and Adam Thielen COMBINE for six catches, especially with almost all of them being deep into garbage time? They didn’t have many targets either. The run game was entirely scrapped because the Eagles know how to sniff out dive, dive, screen pass. Cousins threw three picks, and (I’m not exaggerating) none of them were his fault. Maybe, the argument could be made that one was his bad, but the other two were due to the complete evaporation of any and all offensive linemen wearing purple within six miles of the stadium. And the screens, DEAR LORD THE SCREENS. You have one of the youngest, most inexperienced, and worst linemen units in the entire league and you absolutely REFUSE to abandon the screen pass? That’s not just being stubborn, that’s being a moron. In terms of defense, Donatello’s shell scheme was exposed completely by a young, mobile quarterback who knows how to take advantage. This was seen in the Green Bay Packers game last week, the ample space receivers had to operate was concerning. This space, mixed with a speedy and well-built passing attack meant doomsday for a Vikings secondary that doesn’t seem like it’s built well in the slightest. At least we aren’t the Tennessee Titans?

Reaching at Straws
This is really a true test, finding something Minnesota did well in this game. Irv Smith looked pretty sharp outside of his drop? Patrick Peterson had a nice blocked field goal that was run back to the Eagles’ 30-yard line, where the offense immediately blew the scoring opportunity. Special teams were actually incredible tonight. Rookie punter Ryan Wright had a great game, averaging almost 50 yards per punt and having three of his five punts land inside the 20. That’s really all the highlights that I can bring myself to label as a bright spot. I’m hoping that this team uses this nationally-televised pantsing to do some much needed internal work and to regroup next week.
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