Hope, Slime, and Upcoming Vikings Adversity

Refresher: The Vikings 2021 Offense by the Numbers
Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The chances of Minnesota putting together a 17-0 season are next to none. That’s not an indictment on the Vikings but, rather, an acknowledgement of reality: winning in the NFL is tough. Almost every single team in almost every single years falls short of unbeaten. At some point, this team is going to lose, leading us to the question: how will the Vikings respond to adversity?

Lately, it has been all optimism in Minnesota, and for good reason. While some (including yours truly) wrongly picked the Packers in Week 1, the Vikings put together a dominant win, establishing themselves as the early favorites in the NFC North.

One of the more peculiar (and fun) expressions of post-win optimism came in the form of a bucket of green slime. Justin Jefferson’s performance earned him an award from Nickelodeon, and Minnesota’s head coach stepped up to accept the honor. In fact, O’Connell has suggested he’ll get slimed every time one of his players wins the award.

It’s great for the team to have these moments. The season can be a grind, so having times where it’s nothing but fun, positivity, and hope is great for everyone.

Tonight, Minnesota will face its next test: the Philadelphia Eagles, a team many are expecting to compete in the conference.

Indeed, the Eagles are coming off a playoff season. Their offensive line is elite and they’ve got a lot of skill. Philly’s offense shouldn’t struggle to score points, so the Vikings will need their own offense to have a productive day.

It won’t be shocking if the Vikings climb to 2-0; it won’t be shocking if the Vikings slip to 1-1. On paper, the MNF game looks pretty evenly matched. Perhaps the simple fact that the game is being played in Philadelphia gives the edge to Nick Sirianni’s group.

My best guess is that the game will be far closer than in Week 1. How will the Vikings respond?

The question really isn’t whether the Vikings will face adversity. Instead, we can ask about when it will occur and how much of it will arrive. What kind of form will it take? Will it be a brutal call from a referee, a really unfortunate injury to a key player, or a different scenario?

Obviously, we’re all looking for the good times to continue. I, for one, would be thrilled to see Minnesota win tonight. It’d be another instance when Kirk Cousins overcomes the prime time criticism and, more importantly, a chance to gain an early advantage in the NFC North.

Winning is no guarantee, though. We’ll see how Minnesota responds to a tougher challenge in Week 2.