Vikings vs Broncos: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Going into last week's game, the narrative for many people has been "Kirk Cousins can't win in prime time"...he did that. But it's also been "Cousins can't lead his team to victory when they need him". Well, he just did that. As Kirk himself would say..."You like that!"
The Vikings/Broncos game was definitely a tale of two halves. It was as bipolar as you can get. They just kept shooting themselves in the foot in that first half and were unstoppable. It reminded me a lot of the Green Bay game earlier this season...except this time the Vikings came ended up with the win.
Yesterday's game started out so bad that I was thinking that if they lose this game it would negate the previous weeks' Cowboys win. And it would have.
But the Vikings ended up putting together an amazing comeback, both on offense and defense, to beat the Denver Broncos 27-23 to go to 8-3 for this season. They head into their bye week...and a much needed bye week given the injuries to a few key players.
Let's get into to this week's The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.
Kirk Cousins (The 2nd Half): You can't blame just him for the first half. The offense just could not get going and every time it might have looked like it would, they shoot themselves in the foot. But the second half for Kirk was amazing. After having a total 33 yards passing yards, Cousins finished the game with 319 yards, 3 touchdowns, passing completion of 82% and a QB Rating of 133.
Stephon Diggs/Kyle Rudolph/Irv Smith/Bisi Johnson: After being shutdown in the first half, Diggs was huge in the second with 155 yards a touchdown. Kyle Rudolph had 67 yards and caught his 4th TD in as many games and was so wide open on that touchdown. With Adam Thielen being out, Rudolph has stepped up big time. We also saw Irv Smith catch his first career touchdown.
Jayron Kearse: It seemed like he was involved in every single play towards the end of the game. He swatted balls away, played tight coverage. He played like we want Rhodes to play (oh you know he's coming up and as usual...it's not good)
The First Half: Here's some stats to show how bad it was. Four first downs, 47 total yards, 33 passing for an average of 2.2 per pass, three sacks allowed, 142 yards passing yards allowed, one for six on 3rd down conversions, and two fumbles.
The Secondary (1st half): Unfortunately this is a on-going theme. And it wasn't just Rhodes. Hughes, Waynes, and Alexander had a bad first half and had some bad moments in the second.
Offensive line: The O-line was O-fensvie. We're used to seeing the pass blocking being bad. But the run blocking, which normally they do well, was bad. Cook finished the day with 11 carries for 26 yards. Of course they had to pass a lot more in the 2nd half to get back into the game.
Coach Zimmer: He makes adjustments to slowly. Instead of waiting until after halftime, how about doing some of that "hurry up" offense earlier? Something...anything. I also didn't understand why he kept Rhodes on Sutton. Obviously that wasn't working.
Xavier Rhodes: Guess who's back?...Back again...Rhodes is back...Tell a friend. Never mind, don't tell your friend. They already know and they don't want to hear it anymore. Rhodes is a regular to the Ugly list and after taking break from it, returns to what seems to be his favorite place. Rhodes did make one great play to save a touchdown. But he was also the reason the Broncos had first and goal. It's why the whole Rhodes Closed thing ever came to be. But the roads have been very open lately.