Panic Report: Regular Season Week Three
Ties are not very fun. Missing two kicks in overtime after an impressive comeback is really not fun. We can declare the Green Bay tie a disappointment but there were a number of good things seen from the Vikings last week. Kirk Cousins looked very good and that offensive coordinator we were still on the fence about, had a very good game. A contest with big time playoff implications against Rams is on the horizon but first, the Vikings will have to get through the Bad News Bills. The Bills are guys-retiring-at-half-time bad and the Vikings offensive line is getting healthier. Nothing to worry about, right? WRONG. Here are the things Vikings fans should be panicking about this week.
OK, we are pretty sure that Buffalo is a very bad football team. Nathan Peterman has already been benched in favor of rookie Josh Allen. Shaq Thompson is out, LeSean McCoy might not play and I’m not sure if I can name another player on the Bills roster, honestly. Their defense has given up 78 points in two games and the offense has managed only 23, 20 of which came in last week’s loss to the Chargers. They are also trying to take away the most exciting thing about going to a Bills game. Yep, this team is in rough shape and nobody gives them a chance against the Vikings. Did you know that the ’95-’96 Chicago Bulls lost to the ’95-’96 (expansion) Toronto Raptors? The Raptors finished 21-61 that year but beat Michael Jordan and the eventual record-breaking NBA champions. Good teams lose to bad teams sometimes. Facing L.A. on a short week is definitely weighing on the minds of the Vikings players and coaches. We’ve seen “upsets” like this many times, a loss for the Vikings would be surprising but not shocking.
We don’t need to add salt to the wounds from last week but man, it was really bad. New kicker Dan Bailey could be perfect on Sunday (please, God?) and the Vikings could still lose the game via a big return or blocked punt/kick. Last week’s mishaps may have confirmed this is the Vikings biggest weakness. It goes without saying teams will be using the blueprint laid out by the Packers to try and exploit it. The best thing about the special teams heading into week three is that they got an upgrade over Kicker-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named but Dan Bailey missed 1/4 of his field goal attempts last season and also missed the first extra points (plural) of his career. That is the best thing about the special teams.
Dalvin Cook and Everson Griffen have already been ruled out for the this game. Laquon Treadwell may have played his way out of the wide receiver rotation and his replacement has a.) been on the team for less than a week. or b.) hasn’t ever caught an NFL pass.