Dustin Baker

Writer. Host of Bleav in Vikings Podcast w/B-Mac & Baker.
  • General News

    Panthers are a Bit Weird

    The Vikings host the Carolina Panthers this weekend in the midsection of Minnesota’s three-game home stint. The homestand got off to a splotchy start as the Dallas Cowboys skunked the Vikings late in the fourth quarter of the Week 11…

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  • General News
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    It’s Time to Accept the Reality that the Minnesota Vikings are an Average Football Team

    Back to reality after a humbling lesson from the Dallas Cowboys – is the sentiment in Eagan, MN. Twice this season the Vikings have hosted underperforming teams at U.S. Bank Stadium and been defeated. The first time was just before…

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  • General News
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    Week 11- a Temporary Defensive Regression 

    Week 11 a Temporary Defensive Regression    When Minnesota Vikings long-timers like Linval Joseph, Xavier Rhodes, Everson Griffen, Trae  Waynes, Mackensie Alexander, Stephen Weatherly, and Andrew Sendejo left the team several  months ago, the defense was destined to look markedly different. Mike Zimmer’s calling card is  that of defense and has been so for decades.    It was improbable that the revised and retooled bunch of men on the defensive side of the ball  would struggle. But with injuries to three staples – Danielle Hunter, Anthony Barr, and Michael  Pierce – there simply was enough depth to replace all 10 of the aforementioned names. “Next  man up” only works when the “next man” is actually pretty good. The next men up for the  Vikings are either wet behind the ears or career backup-caliber players.    Because of those factoids, the Vikings defense ranks 27th in points allowed per game and 22nd  in yards allowed per game – wretched marks as adjudicated by Zimmer’s stern standards. The  heft of the damage was perpetrated in Weeks 1-6 while glimmers of defensive competence  were evident following the Week 7 bye week. The Vikings defeated three divisional opponents –  all with some degree of impressive defense.    Then, a step backward occurred in Week 11. The Andy Dalton-led Cowboys made forcible  dents in the Vikings armor. Kirk Cousins dimed his best game of 2020, and Dalvin Cook was  prolific, too. Ordinarily, when Cook crosses the 100-yard rushing plateau, the Vikings win. But  not this time. The defense was beset by a temporary regression.    Pass Rush Next to Zilch    Cowboys reservist signal-caller Andy Dalton dropped back to throw the football 34 times in  Week 11 against Minnesota. Four times, he was pressured. 88% of the time, he felt no  pressure. Professional quarterbacks without induced expediency will pick apart opposing  secondaries – nearly every time.    On 30 occasions, Andy Dalton essentially encountered playground football. When you were an  adolescent, you could not, in good faith, go drill your fifth-grade buddy who was stepping back  to throw the ball. It would have ended your recess right quick.    That was Dalton on Sunday – at recess.    Mike Zimmer chose not to blitz as he did on Monday Night Football one week ago. Dallas’  wideouts are probably too deadly to take on the risk – unlike the Bears wide receivers. The lack  of organic pressure or blitz-infused heat was obvious. It was detrimental to the Vikings defense. …

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  • General News

    A Cousins Gem, Squandered

    A Cousins Gem, Squandered Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has tossed his way to 10 career games with a passer rating north of 140.0. The 10th such performance occurred inside U.S. Bank Stadium during Week 11, but the Vikings managed…

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  • General News

    Beware of the Dallas Cowboys

    Beware of Dallas The Minnesota Vikings, with a 4-5 record, are 1.5 games out of the No. 7 seed of the NFC playoffs. The Arizona Cardinals fell to the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football, an outcome that benefitted the…

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