Let’s Reid between the lines…
The Minnesota Vikings are heavy favorites against the Cowboys at home. Dallas only has two wins this year, but Head Coach and former division rival Mike McCarthy will try his best to steal a win and cool down his hot seat. Here’s how the Vikings can get their fourth straight victory:
COMMITMENT TO THE RUN GAME
The 2020 Vikings are clearly a run-first team. Heck, they even run the ball when it seems inappropriate to do so. Either way, pounding the ground is how the Minnesota offense tends to win games.
If Cook doesn’t have open lanes against the Cowboys defensive line right away, the Vikings need to be patient and persistent. In their last game, Dallas only gave up 46 rushing yards to the Steelers.
In an interview this week, Rick Spielman voiced his approval of feeding the run against Chicago, even when the going was tough. Expect the Vikings to do the same today… they should be able to wear down the Cowboys defensive line.
HARASS THEM WITH THE BLITZ
Ever since the Cowboys lost Dak Prescott to an ankle injury, they’ve had a quarterback carousel. At one point, they were starting seventh round pick Ben DiNucci, who you’ve probably never heard of.
This week, Dallas will send out former Cincinnati signal caller Andy Dalton. He’s much more experienced than DiNucci, but 33 year old Dalton is not the quarterback he once was.
Every Dallas quarterback has looked uncomfortable in the pocket this year, and the Vikings should amplify the issue via a frequent blitz. Even if the Vikings defense can’t put Dalton on the ground, they can probably force him into some rushed throws. If it ends up being a close game, a costly turnover could seal the Cowboys fate and give way to another Vikings win.
TIGHTEN UP ON SPECIAL TEAMS
The last thing you want to do on special teams is give up a return touchdown… the Vikings did that against the Bears. The second to last thing you want to do is have a punt blocked… the Vikings had that happen twice the week before.
Mike Zimmer was noticeably angry with special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf on the sidelines last week. The second year coordinator definitely wants to stay on Zimmer’s good side, so I’m hopeful he made significant changes this week.