Coming into this Sunday’s game the Vikings offense had been bad, and I mean BAD. They had failed to reach 300 total yards in 4 out of their last 5 games. In today’s NFL which features explosive offenses like the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams, that is unacceptable.
The Vikings were Super Bowl favorites for a lot of people coming into the season. They had the best defense in the NFL in 2017 and no one expected any different for the 2018 season. We also signed Kirk Cousins who is a little rough around the edges, but has shown the ability to be a top tier quarterback in the NFL. With a solid quarterback at center (No offense Case Keenum), throwing the ball to the most talented duo in the league, the sky was the limit for the Vikings.
However, this season we got away from what made us so good in 2017. We ran the ball well, ranking 7th in the league in rushing yards, and that freed up the passing game for Case Keenum, who is a below average quarterback in the league. As we know, a solid running game does wonders for your passing game, and takes tons of pressure off of your quarterback. I can say with 100% certainty that Case Keenum wouldn’t have been successful under John Defilippo’s offense.
After their embarrassing loss to the Seahawks last Monday, a game that saw their offense put up just 276 yards, Mike Zimmer had had enough. They fired John Defilippo, who ignored Zimmer’s demands that he run the ball more, and let their quarterback’s coach, Kevin Stefanski, call plays on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
In the 1st quarter we looked like a completely different team, walking down the field on our first 3 drives, making the score 21-0 just 13 minutes into the game. We ran the ball hard with both Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook scoring. Also, Kirk Cousins went 7/7 in the first quarter, finally looking like a $84 million quarterback.
We saw exactly what the Vikings offense could have been all season long with the right play caller. Then, the second quarter happened and the Vikings looked like the same old team. Kirk threw a pick 6, his league leading 17th turnover,and the game was 21-10 going into half-time.
Then Miami came out of the locker room and Kalen Ballage ran 75 yards on the first play of the second half, and the score was 21-17 before most fans had returned to their seats. Then the Vikings went 3 and out and we all sighed. Here we go, the Vikings are doing it again. Only they could go up 21-0 in the first quarter and then blow the lead.
Luckily, as they have all season long, the defense answered. They had 9 sacks, 7 of the Vikings defenders getting a piece of Ryan Tannehill, and they held the Miami offense to just 193 yards of total offense.
As the defense did their part, our offense finally got back on track scoring two touchdowns in the 4th quarter. The 41 points we put up were the most this season, as were the 220 rushing yards they racked up, which I can imagine Mike Zimmer is very happy about.
This was the Vikings first victory against a team over .500 this season and it came right in time. With the Seahawks losing yesterday, we have a great chance at stealing the 5th seed from them especially since we play the Lions next week and they play the Chiefs.
If we can keep running the ball effectively, and stuffing the opposing teams offense, two things we did so well last season, this Vikings team could make a legitimate run in the playoffs. So with that said, don’t get your Super Bowl hopes down just yet!