YOU LIKE THAT! UNDERDOG VIKINGS GET WIN AT SAINTS, NEXT UP: 49’ERS
Written by Tony Schultz on January 5, 2020
Doubt them. Slight them by not having them in a commercial of playoff teams. Give them no respect. That’s OK. If Mike Zimmer and the Vikings players, front office and ownership were the only people that believed they could win this game then so be it. No one in the pregame shows, pundit broadcasts, blogs ….. you name it they weren’t picking the Vikings. Fans were definitely worried after a good start ended with Adam Thielen fumbling on the first drive. I’m sure several people out there were going, “and here we go again”. Can’t blame them. However this year you can feel something a little different. Remeber when they were laying an egg versus a bad Denver team at home? I do. I was there and I was angry. Then the Vikings did something we – in fact no one has ever seen as they came back in the second half and won. Now you can still be mad at the losses against the Packers and the ones they let slip away at Kansas City and Seattle, but there’s still something a bit different this year. As the game went on the Vikings had several moments that had fans’ blood pressure rising and hitting the boiling point. The team stayed calm and needed just one more thing to go right and that was to win the coin toss at overtime so they could drive the field and get the win.
The game started with Dalvin Cook gashing and bowling over the Saints defense. Cousins was being very good with his ball care, but the receivers seemed to be having trouble catching the ball. Adam Thielen was having an off game, but came on strong late with 7 catches for 129 yards and the catch that put them on the two yard. Stephon Diggs was frustrated as well as the Saints were not going to let him beat them. He wasn’t mad at his quarterback though as he was shown patting Kirk on the back of the neck letting him know he was all good. As the Saints started to focus on Cook throughout the game daring the Vikings to throw things got a little tighter as the minutes passed. The defense was having trouble stopping Swiss Army Knife Tasom Hill and the tension kept building. As Wil Lutz lined up for the tie securing field goal fans felt like they had seen this show before. Did they forget about the Minneapolis Miracle? Some did. Some didn’t and thought it might go against the Vikings with the upcoming overtime. The best player today not just on defense as he harassed Drew Brees all day, but on coin tosses was Everson Griffen as he go them both right today. Kirk Cousins and offensive coordinator Kevin Stephanski saw that backup cornerback Patrick Robinson was in and immediately went at him to get the ball at the 2 yard line. Cook tried to bang it in and got one yard. The next play they had Cook swing left and lost yardage. Yikes. But then Kirk Cousins did what everyone said he can’t do: he won the big game with a pass to the corner of the end zone to Kyle ‘Big Country’ Rudolph that seemed effortless and without any doubt that it was a clean, fair, awesome catch! The defense was on Brees all day. Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen were relentless and sacked Drew three times and had him running for his life the rest of the time. Hunter had a game changing strip sack late in the 4th quarter that the Vikings recovered and Anthony Harris picked off Brees earlier in the game that kept that vaunted Saints offense in check. Tasom Hill threw the best pass for the Saints as he threw one to the 2 yard line early, and he caught a touchdown later on a defensive miscue. He even was running for first downs! In the end the defense kept Michael Thomas from being the all world receiver he is, and did just enough to keep things in check. That’s all they needed today.
What’s next? Now they travel to a resurgent San Francisco with a very good defense at 3:35PM on Saturday. They have a big threat at tightend with George Kittle and a young Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback who can run up scores against lesser defenses. They have had their stumbles as they recently lost to the struggling Falcons at home and have struggled versus stronger opponents like the Seahawks and Rams. The Vikings are going to try to keep their hot streak going and keep fans thinking “maybe THIS year.” Maybe.