Vikings Showed Futility On Sunday

Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; The Chicago Bears face off against the Minnesota Vikings defense in the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports.

The NFL has provided some very odd results this season. While we have seen teams like the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Kansas City Chiefs look like juggernauts, all have performed mildly at times. That may bode well for a team like the Minnesota Vikings, but Sunday suggested not to bet on it.

Vikings Showed Futility On Sunday

There hasn’t been much hope that the Minnesota Vikings could salvage their season after getting off to such an ugly start. Sure, they got a division win against the Chicago Bears, and it may be unlikely that the Detroit Lions will run away with things. There is a good amount of unpredictability in the league this year. All those things seem positive, but then there was that Bears game.

Vikings Showed Futility
Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker D.J. Wonnum (98) sacks Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports.

It should have been expected that Kevin O’Connell’s team would look different in the contest. They were without their top offensive weapon, Justin Jefferson, and replacing the best player in the league at any given position isn’t an easy task. For an offensively focused team, it may be harder, but the result was nothing short of lackluster.

Kirk Cousins played arguably his worst game of the season. T.J. Hockenson dropped another catchable pass. Jordan Addison didn’t have the breakout that could have been imagined, and he really wasn’t even a focal point of the gameplan. After a couple of weeks of solid work, Alexander Mattison put up an absolute stinker, and for some reason, Cam Akers got just a single rushing attempt.

Despite the Vikings ineptitude, the Bears did everything they could to give the contest away. Sure, Justin Fields isn’t great, but he left the game with a Division II rookie taking over. Chicago coughed up the ball three times, allowing Minnesota to win the turnover battle, and D.J. Moore was the only wide receiver that looked capable of operating against Minnesota’s lackluster secondary.

Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (7) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

All that happened, and it still took Byron Murphy hanging onto a bunt throw to win the game by six points. The Vikings mustered just 19 in the contest, and Greg Joseph missed a pair of kicks. Playing in a game where both teams came in 1-4, it couldn’t have been more evident throughout that neither was very good.

It might be fun to dream of the idea that .500 is just two weeks away. Brock Purdy could be without Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey on Monday night, and the Packers aren’t a good team, even if Minnesota has to play at Lambeau. For that to matter, though, Cousins and company would need to perform in primetime on Monday Night and show up on the road against a better divisional opponent.

Those results would also need to happen without Marcus Davenport, who is out for weeks (despite producing little all season), and potentially missing Ezra Cleveland on the offensive line. Sure, the Vikings signed Dalton Risner a couple of weeks ago for depth in that area, but a 1-4 team is getting worse and looking to see better outcomes. That doesn’t seem like a logical path forward.

Contribution from Free
Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Marcus Davenport addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Davenport joined the Vikings in March of 2023 after four seasons with the New Orleans Saints.

Maybe the Vikings players, staff, and front office would prefer to avoid an ultimate tank of a season, but it certainly seems like the outcomes may begin to be dictated to them. There have been more than a few odd results this year, and Minnesota is capable of capturing their own, but that performance on Sunday showed plenty about what this team is, and it isn’t good.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.