Written by on September 20, 2021

Picture it: the Vikings are down in a close game with minutes to go on the road. Their defense stiffens and gets the ball back in the offense’s hands. Kirk Cousins drives the team down the field. All the Vikings need is field goal to win the game. After the playmakers get the ball into field goal range there is one more play to run. Sound familiar? No, it’s not last weekend against the Bengals. It was today against the Cardinals. Although the ending wasn’t any different.

In a game the Vikings weren’t supposed to win they came out strong fast and had an almost flawless game after last week was marred by 10 penalties in the first half. The Vikings got on the board first with a touchdown strike to a wide open KJ Osborn for a quick six points. The Cardinals came right back with a touchdown strike from Kyler Murray to Deandre Hopkins in the endzone and we had a shootout on out hands. The Vikings offensive line looked great today as they were making massive holes for Dalvin Cook to run through and giving Kirk Cousins plenty of time to throw the ball. I fact, Cousins wasn’t sacked at all in this game and went 22/32 for 244 yards and 3 touchdowns and no turnovers. That is Cousins second consecutive game where his stats more than show he was leading this team to victory. Dalvin Cook amassed 131 yards on the ground and even though he didn’t get to the endzone he was making great yardage and keeping the ball away from the Cardinals. The Vikings drove to the 7 yard line where Cousins hit Adam Thielen with a dart in the endzone. On their next possesion the Vikings drove the field and Cousins hit Justin Jefferson with and It seemed like the Vikings were going to be unstoppable from there. The only thing that went wrong is Greg Joseph missed he extra point. But why worry about that? That surely won’t haunt them. Right? The Cardinals scored again as Kyler Murray ran in for a score and on the Vikings next drive it looked like they would march down the field once again and score. The Cardinals stopped them though and got the ball back. They cored after the Vikings defense lost coverage completely on Rondell Moore and he easily ran in for a touchdown on another Murray pass. The Cards took the one point lead but before halftime Kirk led the team down the field for an impressive Greg Joseph 52 yard field goal with 25 seconds left in the half. What’s more impressive than a 52 yard field goal? How about a 62 yard field goal? That’s just what Matt Prater did just before halftime to put the Cardinals back in the lead and receiving the opening 2nd half kickoff. On their drive Nick Vigil picked off a Murray pass and ran it in for the pick 6. The seesaw went back the other direction as Murray connected with AJ Green for a short touchdown for a 31-30 lead. Safety Xavier Woods would intercept Murray on the next possession and the drive would end with another Greg Joseph kick for 5 yards out. Vikings up by 2. The next Cardinals possession Danielle Hunter gets another sack and they punt back to the Vikings where, for some strange reason Dede Westbrook field the punt inside the 5 yard line only got it to the 2. Yikes. The Vikings could get a drive going there and punted once again. On the next possession the Cardinals went for it on 4th and 5 yards to go. The Vikings sent a perfect blitz by Harrison Smith which caused Murray to heave the ball downfield, but the heave was right on target and Moore pulled it in again. It setup a short field goal by Prater with 4:25 left in the contest. Plenty of time for the Vikings to drive down the field and score. The drive stalled quickly, but the Vikings defense got the ball back to the offense quickly with just over 2 minutes remaining. With a precise and perfect drive Cousins got the team in for a 37 yard field goal by Greg Joseph and …… he missed it. Such is the life of a Vikings fan.

Vikings vs. Cardinals Week 2 Highlights | NFL 2021 – YouTube

This was one heck of a crazy game today. Several lead changes and exciting offense with some defensive gems, but it was all for nothing in the end. Kirk Cousins led the team to the win more than once today, and last week and both games are losses. How does that happen? I don’t know. Today the offense was absolutely stellar and scored more than enough points on the road to give the team the win, but the defensive miscues and 2 misses by the kicker is what sunk the team today. Had the defense not allowed a few players to get grossly wide open then the Vikings win with ease and are at least 1-1 on the season. So, a team that should be 2-0 isn’t. It really is hard to understand, but at least this time the refs didn’t take the ball out of their hands. The gut punch felt by Vikings fans is known by them and they are used to it, but they usually get a year off from them. Maybe though there is a different way to look at these games and this season. Usually, the final blow is in the last week which keeps the Vikings out of the playoffs or the Super Bowl. Perhaps the gut punches are happening now because they won’t happen later. Maybe this isn’t the start of a bad season, but maybe the best season yet. Who knows? As a Vikings fan there is one thing that is constant: hope.

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