Last night’s 27-26 heartbreaker in Seattle now has the Minnesota Vikings buried in a deep 1-4 hole to start the 2020 season. Game after game, the disbelief hasn’t been as much about the losses themselves, but instead, HOW they’ve found their way to those losses. The L’s have piled up in the most Minnesota Vikings ways imaginable. Quickly, let’s high-five and cry our way through Sunday night’s rollercoaster of emotions.
It was a dream start, led by Dalvin Cook and Kirk Cousins, that put Minnesota up 13-0 at the end of the 1st half (high-five). Things went south quickly in the second half, starting with two Kirk Cousins’ turnovers in the third quarter and compounded by the loss of Dalvin Cook to a groin injury (cry).
Seattle scored 21 points alone in that third quarter to take a 21-13 lead, entering the 4th. Of course, the Vikings didn’t let us flounder out, instead reeling us back in just when you were about to give up. With 8 minutes left in the 4th, Kirk Cousins and the offense sculpted together an 11-play, 77-yard drive that cut the Seahawk lead to two (they missed the two-point conversion to tie).
The next offensive possession? How about a 15-play, 92-yard drive that ate over 8 minutes of clock and gave the Vikings a 26-21 lead LATE in the fourth (high-five)!
You know the rest, it’s as expected and inevitable as the Timberwolves giving up 120 every night they step on the floor. Russell Wilson directed a 13-play, 94-yard game-winning drive in 1:42 and shattered dreams of Vikings fans everywhere.
In the process, Wilson converted TWO backbreaking 4th downs to DK Metcalf. The first was a 4th and 10 heave from their own 23 yard line that Cam Dantzler misplayed badly, leaving DK wide open for an easy high-point catch. Then, Mr. Unlimited connected with Metcalf on 4th and goal in what looked like great coverage from Anthony Harris (cry).
Win Probability: Vikings @ Seahawks pic.twitter.com/wEyG9ZTGvv— Lee Sharpe, ⛓️ @ 🏠 (@LeeSharpeNFL) October 12, 2020
The Vikings Aren’t 1-4 Bad
Here’s the thing that kept me up last night, though… The Vikings are so much better than their 1-4 record shows. If you’ve watched all the one-win NFL teams, you’d be the first to tell me that Minnesota is in a completely different class than the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles or the Washington Football Team. If this 1-4 Vikings team that lacked the talent or coaching to get to the postseason, I’m not writing this blog. They have what’s needed to be a playoff team but only one number matters at the end of the day. It’s the number underneath the “W” column in the standings.
Football is a fragile game and the smallest mistake can cost you a win. Just look at the Vikings’ four losses. They now have (2) one-point losses; Week 3 against the Tennessee Titans 31–30 and yesterday night at Seattle 27-26. Tennessee and Seattle have a combined record of 8-0 this season. I’d argue that Minnesota should’ve won both of those games. Even with all the new analytics now-a-days, there’s still gained from “should’ve won” losses.
Better than Seattle on Sunday Night
The Vikings dominated Seattle in almost every statistical category on Monday night. They out-rushed, out-threw, out-received, and out-possessed Seattle…. but still lost. Bad teams couldn’t do that to Seattle. Bad teams can’t sack Russell Wilson four times in the first half or out posses the seahawks 39:28 to 20:32 for the game.
The game plan was flawless, the execution was ALMOST perfect. It was all there for the taking but three things defined this loss. (1) Cook’s groin injury, (2) two Cousins’ turnovers in the third quarter and (3) a failed 4th down conversation that would’ve sealed the game. Now, Minnesota sits at 1-4 and Cook’s health is in question moving forward. Just gut-wrenching.
Cheers to the best 1-4 team in the NFL, your Minnesota Vikings.
Stephen Strom | Minnesota Sports Fan