The Vikings’ Luck Was Destined to Run Out

Vikings Handed Same
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings lost Sunday night at the Denver Broncos, 21-20, after three turnovers sunk the enterprise. In return, Minnesota forced no turnovers on defense or special teams, and that was that.

The Vikings’ Luck Was Destined to Run Out

Kevin O’Connell’s team hosts the Chicago Bears next, a Week 12 date on Monday Night Football, and is favored by 3.5 points to prevail.

Luck Was Destined
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And because the loss in Denver was so close — so attainable — some Vikings fans really lamented the outcome. But here’s the deal — the team’s winning streak luck was destined to expire, and here’s why.

1. The Team’s Best Player Is Out

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Can you imagine Kansas City Chiefs fans stomping around, trying to figure out why they lost a road game without Patrick Mahomes? What about the San Francisco 49ers without Christian McCaffrey?

Somehow, Minnesota fired off a dazzling five-game winning spurt without its best player, a circumstance Vikings faithful will talk about for years. It was very weird — downright wacky — that the Vikings started winning the moment Jefferson hit injured reserve.

Brian Flores’ defense conveniently arrived after Jefferson’s hamstring injury, and that group’s performance is largely responsible for the current 6-5 record.

However, it was severely unlikely that the Vikings would go undefeated without Jefferson, so at Denver on Sunday was merely paying the piper. Jefferson is productive enough to offset a one-point loss, and perhaps his presence in the game would’ve formulated the special sauce. No cigar.

2. Joshua Dobbs’ Schtick Doesn’t Include Undefeated Ball

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Dobbs is incredibly electric, smart, and a fun story.

But the Vikings didn’t acquire him from the Arizona Cardinals with realistic hopes of going undefeated the rest of the way. Dobbs may end up as a QB1 in the NFL, but the Cardinals woes with him in the saddle are at least a little indicative of his ceiling.

Dobbs does one thing more effectively than Kirk Cousins — mobility. At Denver, the 28-year-old didn’t take off and run too often, and if he’s not utilizing that character trait, Minnesota may not win too many games on the road against hot opponents.

Speaking of hot opponents..

3. The Broncos Are Hot

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

Plug your ears — Sean Payton’s mother didn’t raise him to lose football games. The man may implement bounty programs or allow Kareem Jackson to tee off on the aforementioned Dobbs, but Payton rarely fosters trashy football teams.

Before Sunday night — and after — the Broncos were hot, finding ways to chip off the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, and now Vikings all in a row. Denver is in the middle of an in-season about-face, and the Vikings became a one-point victim.

Historically, the Vikings don’t play wonderfully on the road against AFC West opponents, especially ones riding momentous win streaks.

Minnesota was bound to lose a game or two after Cousins and Jefferson went down, Dobbs isn’t a God, and the Broncos are no pushover.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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