If you don’t like scoring and you really like to watch defense that is better than offense, you enjoyed the first half of this football game. The Vikings have been shorthanded on offense almost all season but are still very respectable in most offensive stat categories. Not in the first half of this game. I was hoping to watch Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray run all over a terrible Baltimore rushing defense. That wasn’t the case. The Vikings finished with a whopping 53 rushing yards.
The defense, however, was on point. It helps when you’re playing Baltimore’s 2nd offense + Joe Flacco, due to injuries, but you can’t pick your opponent, as the old saying goes. The defensive line constantly had pressure on Flacco and he was showing it. Even in times where the pressure wasn’t around, he looked frazzled.
The best offensive players in the first half were the kickers, Kai Forbath and Justin Tucker. Forbath made two kicks from over 50 yards and 1 for 40+. Tucker matched when given the opportunity, hitting from both 48 and 57. Neither kicker missed. Here are the highlights via NFL Network’s Gameday coverage.
The 2nd half Vikings offense was much better. The defense was the same, which was stellar. Baltimore’s holes in its rushing defense started to show itself very early in the 2nd, when Latavius Murray ripped off a big run to set up ANOTHER Forbath field goal. A drive later, he busted another big one, and this time hit pay-dirt.
There were a lot of Vikings, that have had down seasons or even down careers lately, who showed up for this game. Laquon Treadwell splashed early, Jarius Wright had two superman catches, and Latavius Murray had 135 yards and 2 TD’s. When injuries happen, you need guys to step up and thats exactly what we saw in this game. Here are the 2nd half highlights:
After a slow start, the Vikings were able to make this a yawner. Well, it was a bit of a yawner the entire way through. We’ll take any win we can though, including a win when the Packers lose, which they did to New Orleans today. That will give the Vikings sole lead of the NFC North as we head to Week 8.
Case Keenum is such a good backup to have for this football team, specifically. The defense is so good that Case gets good field position and never has to worry about winning a game on his own. It will be even better when Diggs and one of the starting quarterbacks can get healthy. And, say what you want about Rick Spielman but he has put this defense together, with the help of Mike Zimmer, and they continue to impress week after week.
There are some injury concerns to take from this game and they’re on the offensive line, which is the last place we need this injury bug to spread. Riley Reiff and Jeremiah Sirles left the game at some point.
Stat help from ESPN