KIRK COUSINS LEADS VIKINGS TO ANOTHER STRESSFUL WIN
Written by Tony Schultz on October 17, 2021
I don’t know why the Vikings can’t just win a game easily this year. Up by 11 with 5 minutes left the Carolina Panthers fought back and tied the game to force overtime. The worst part of it is that the tying touchdown was a 97 yard drive and a successful 2 point conversion. Sam Darnold isn’t as awful of a quarterback as the Jets made him into in their terrible organization, but he’s not elite. He threw an absolute bullet to Ian Thomas from his own endzone for a 41 yard gain to get them quickly down the field. Starting corner back Patrick Peterson had to leave the game with a pulled hamstring on the drive after a bad pass. DJ Moore got over the top of Cameron Dantzler and got the ball at the 6 yard line. Darnold then got a pass into the endzone with Robby Anderson getting behind the linebackers and then the Panthers utilized the shuttle pass to get the 2 point conversion. With 45 seconds left in regulation kirk Cousins did what he has done every time this year: lead the team down the field for a chance to win. Unfortunately Greg Joseph missed the game winning field goal and we went to overtime. Somewhere the team never should have been. Coach Mike Zimmer really needs to get this team to realize that they need to play better and go out and dagger teams instead of letting them hang around.
So, how did we get to this point? To start off the game the Vikings got started hot as Bashaud Breeland picked off Darnold on the first play of the game. The drive ended with the Vikings putting 3 point on the board with Greg Joseph field goal. The Vikings stopped the Panthers on their next drive, but Justin Jefferson fumbled the ball on the next drive. The Panthers turned that into a score with a Chuba Hubbard touchdown run. The Vikings actually had a pretty strong offensive showing against a strong defense in Carolina all game long. The Vikings drove again to another Joseph field goal. The Vikings defense also played well almost the entire game, but they were helped by the Panthers receivers dropping several passes all game long. On the next strong drive the Vikings used some trickery to get the ball to backup tight end Ty Herndon for his first score of the year from Cousins. There was a penalty after the touchdown by the Panthers that moved the ball half the distance to the goal so the Vikings wisely went for 2 points. The play they called was confusing as they tried to run it up the middle with a spread out offense and Dalvin Cook got stopped, bounced outside and got tripped before he could get to the endzone. Agreed with the decision, but not the play or execution. Caroline got a field goal before the half and we had the weird score of 12-10. After some back and forth I figured in the 3rd quarter the Vikings finally made their fatal mistake as the Panthers blocked a punt and carried it into the endzone. What was different this time? The Vikings came out firing and not taking that miscue bring them down. Kirk, CJ Hamm, and Dalvin Cook got the team down the field and Cook stretched for a touchdown. The Vikings then went for 2 to make it a field goal game. Smart. Justin Jefferson just couldn’t get his toes in bounds at the back of the endzone. The Vikings defense really showed up on the next drive and Cam Dantzler caused a fumble that Kirk hit Adam Thielen on a big pass down to the 5 yard line and then an amazing throw and catch by the same guys. Another stop by the defense, another drive, and another field goal from Joseph. Then the defense got a strip sack on the next drive by Armon Watts. Unfortunately on this drive Joseph missed a field goal. Panthers drive gets them the field goal. With 2:09 left Jordan Berry punted the ball and pinned Carolina at the 3 yard line. So see the first paragraph and here we go with Joseph missing the game winning field goal and we go to overtime.
The Vikings won the coin toss and never let the end be in doubt. Even though Thielen and Jefferson had spectacular performances it was third wide receiver KJ Osborn that had a spectacular overtime. After he hauled in a tight throw that was almost well defended he got to streak across the field while Cousins was protected wonderfully an dropped a perfect pass to him and he put it over the pylon for the winning touchdown. Another game that had the fans on the edge of their seats and sanity before they could finally stop holding their collective breath. The offense scored touchdowns in the 2nd half which they haven’t done since the first game of the season so that issue may be over, but it seems new issues pop up. The team just seems on the edge of getting over all these miscues and putting together a complete game, but until they do expect close games the rest of the season. At least the Vikings have a bye next week to let us all recoup from another stressful win and just breathe again.