Quite the rollercoaster of a game for the Minnesota Vikings, as they beat the Detroit Lions 28-24. This game had a bit of everything in terms of Minnesota football, we had some missed calls, the defense arbitrarily phasing in and out of effectiveness, etc. But, as many a player, coach, and fan have and will say, a win is a win. At one point, the Lions had a 93% chance of winning according to ESPN. What performance did the Vikings put up to pull out this statistical wonder of a win?
Starting on the offense, it was a much better game in terms of both strength and in distributing the ball. Dalvin Cook ran for almost 100 yards again, and both Adam Thielen and K.J. Osborn were utilized very well with both having at least five catches and a touchdown. Kirk Cousins, coming off of a game that could’ve easily tanked his confidence, tossed for 260 yards, two touchdowns, and no turnovers. There was an issue with ball security in this game though, as both Cook and Jalen Reagor fumbled the football, one of which was recovered by Detroit. It took a little while to truly get the ball rolling, but I really liked the more evenly spread-out offensive gameplan.
Defensively, this game wasn’t as pretty as one would hope. For the entire first quarter, they were getting completely eviscerated with a strong run game and a total offensive package from Detroit that is doing more than just turning heads. It seemed like in intervals of 20 or so minutes, the defense would rotate between complete impotence and being a solid, formidable unit. The first quarter was hard to watch, then the second half we put it together and tied it up. After halftime, the defense let the Lions walk all over them, allowing Detroit to create a ten-point swing. In the fourth, they rallied again and finished pretty strong. Three players (Jordan Hicks, Josh Metellus, and Eric Kendricks) totaled at least 11 tackles, and Metellus also snagged an interception.
Finally, the special teams and my thoughts. Rookie punter Ryan Wright continues to impress, while Greg Joseph has a terrible game in NFL kicker terms, missing both of his field goals. All in all, this game was a solid team win (if we ignore the repeated collapses). A nice refresher from the polar opposites that were weeks one and two. I could get used to wins like this, especially if they end in spectacular fashion like this one. A barely-one-minute-drill drive that ends in a game-winning touchdown? A feeling usually uncommon for Vikings fans, but a welcome one nonetheless.