VIKINGS HAVE HORRIFYING HALLOWEEN NIGHT, FALL TO COWBOYS
Written by Tony Schultz on October 31, 2021
Sunday Night Football in the NFL is always a big night and the Vikings have had their struggles on primetime games. Over the years it has been a theme the pundits can’t stay off of. As they got ready for the evening’s game they got some good news as all-star quarterback Dak Prescot was ruled out of the game and Cooper Rush was named the starter. This should have made this game easier, but as Vikings fans know backup quarterbacks have also been an issue for the Vikings over the years. Add in that coming back off the bye Minnesota has struggled. Mike Zimmer’s team came out firing on the first drive with Kirk Cousins directing the offense down the field to a big Adam Thielen touchdown. The Cowboys then missed a field on their drive and Xavier Woods picked off Rush on a Harrison Smith tip of the ball. It felt like the Vikings might cruise to a win. Not exactly. One problem was that the Vikings receivers were having some big miscues. Justin Jefferson got WIDE open as the defender covering him fell down. He slowed down on his route and the ball fell just out of his reach on a perfectly placed ball. Might have been a touchdown with his abilities. That drive stalled. On another drive in the first half KJ Osborn had a first down catch right at the first down marker. He got hit by AJ Brown and the ball fell to the turf. He should have had that reception. With Prescott down the Cowboys relied on Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard to run the ball and try to keep the pressure off of Rush. They had some pretty decent runs and moved the ball against the Vikings defense missing starter Michael Pierce with an elbow injury he suffered a few weeks ago. Greg Joseph connected on a field goal and the teams hit the locker room with the Vikings up 10-3.
The Cowboys came out firing in the second half and quickly put 7 on the board with a big touchdown from Rush to receiver Cedric Wilson. With the score quickly tied it made every Vikings fan clench up. The question became whether or not the Vikings would settle down an take back over the game. Danielle Hunter went out with a shoulder injury so the defense became a bit of a question as well. The answer was no. While Dallas has a pretty sturdy defense it was the Vikings wide receivers that weren’t doing Cousins any favors. Several dropped passes when they really needed them marred the offensive performance along with Dalvin Cook not getting much going on the ground. The Vikings defense kept coming after Rush and Woods got his second turnover of the game as he nailed Rush on a blitz and caused a fumble which Anthony Barr recovered. The turnovers and spotty moments of good defense kept the Vikings in the game. With 6 minutes in the game the Vikings got a drive going that was helped mostly by the Cowboys defense and the refs with three major penalties that kept the drive alive. The drive stalled as the Vikings went backwards from the 5 yard line for the first 2 plays and then Cousins 2-hand tossed the ball to Thielen as he was getting sacked to get the ball back to the 5 and Greg Joseph kicked a field goal. Leighton Vander Esch should have been called for a late hit out of bounds on the drive, but for some reason they didn’t. Dallas then drove the field with a miracle bobbling catch by Amari Cooper who capped the drive with an eventual touchdown catch. With 55 seconds left on the clock the Vikings had a chance to drive the field with no timeouts left in their pocket and there was no miracle drive tonight. The Vikings proved once again that for some reason they can’t put together a complete game and remain consistent through the entire game. They won the turnover game and still lost the game. What might come next is people losing their jobs. The hot seat on Coach Zimmer has been turned up to a strong 8 and another loss like that might push it past 10 and the search for a new coach may soon follow. I think the Vikings official Twitter post at the end summed it up perfectly.