Snap Reactions after Vikings-Packers
From a suggestion by a reader, we author a “snap reactions” weekly piece detailing thoughts and analysis after a Minnesota Vikings game.
This will be off-the-cuff, a wee bit “random,” and hopefully insightful.
- Greg Joseph will probably have more ups and downs like an ordinary Vikings kicker, but the man has proven he deserves respect and an extended stay with the team. His kick to win the game, albeit tiny, was refreshing.
- Suppose that was Aaron Rodgers’ swan song at U.S. Bank Stadium. What a way to go out — for all parties. He was absolutely tremendous, with nothing to be ashamed of. But the Vikings won, defeating a premium, vintage version of Rodgers.
- The Vikings defense really needs to find a way to win a game or two for the team. While the offense is improving drastically with playcalling, the old Zimmer defense — which would suffocate opponents — needs to make some cameos.
- Throw the ball to Justin Jefferson — win the game. Choose not to target Justin Jefferson — lose the game. This is elementary and should be written on a billboard somewhere in Eagan.
- Every week, Kirk Cousins puts the Vikings in a position to win. He was not great against the Cleveland Browns or Dallas Cowboys, but no quarterback is great 100% of the time. If this 2021 season ends without a playoff win, the franchise should find a coach who can win with Cousins as it would be silly to finger him as the problem.
- Whoever was the man — Mike Zimmer, Klint Kubiak, or Kirk Cousins — that piped up in the last few weeks and said, “Let’s be aggressive for god’s sake,” should be canonized.
- If the Vikings reach the playoffs, no fan nor any player will be fazed by the bright lights of the occasion. Every Vikings game in 2021 has felt like a playoff game — even to the lowly Detroit Lions.
- Dalvin Cook quietly tallied 115 yards from scrimmage in a pass-happy game. Not bad.
- With four tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss, and two QB hits, Harrison Smith was the player of the game on defense. He, too, did it somewhat quietly. But that’s what hitmen do.
- The Vikings now inhabit the sixth seed in the NFC playoff picture. Whoodathunkit two weeks ago after the loss in Baltimore.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).
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