By: Derick Baack
Edited by: Brendan Schick
Imagine refurbishing your entire house with new paint, new upholstery, new carpet, and the works. It all looks spectacular in your head, no? Suddenly, a visitor enters and a door squeaks, and you realize that you forgot the WD-40! Metaphorically speaking, the house in your head is the 2018-2019 Minnesota Vikings. There are a lot of good visuals, yet plenty of loose ends and rust that need to be shaken off in order for them to fulfill their maximum potential as a team.
Last season, the expectation for the Vikings was “Super Bowl or bust,” but one needs to take a step back and evaluate everything is falling into place before they jump to such lofty conclusions again. On the offensive side of the ball, the arrival of Kirk Cousins and new offensive coordinator, John DeFilippo, bring excitement to the Twin Cities like Brett Favre did many moons ago. Concurrently, the return of RB Dalvin Cook and injuries inflicted upon the offensive line casts uncertainty to an otherwise certain group of players. But, would you rather have the season transition from rough to smooth as time goes on, or the opposite? It isn’t how one begins, rather, how one finishes.
Last night (August 24th), was a fantastic microcosm of the current Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are a team loaded with talent still trying to find their way. All passionate purple hearts should take solace in the fact that talent overcomes so much. The coaching staff is full of experience too. The coaching staff dwells on failure, as it is their jobs to make sure players learn from mistakes and improve for the next week. Mike Zimmer’s half-time mood was firey to say the least. Needless to say, it was only the third week of the preseason. The Vikings are in good hands if Zimmer is pissed during a preseason game.
Kirk Cousins led his receivers into hard contact several times. He was forced into quick decisions due to protection from an offensive line missing 2 starters (one being C Pat Elflein). Cousins got more comfortable as the game continued. No player in the NFL has more pressure on his shoulders than Cousins after he signed an $84M contract to become the man that would lead the Vikings back to glory. But as with any new relationship, the honeymoon period isn’t always smooth. The game flow last night against Seattle forced Kirk to check down, hit flats, and make quick reads far too often. However, he made several throws that displayed elite talent. The back-shoulder toss to Stefon Diggs down the right sideline was amazing. Cousins has great anticipation and comfort, and will eventually become more consistent as the season progresses. Vikings Nation needs to give this time. This is a process. There is no need to jump ship after two straight shaky preseason appearances.
The Vikings are in a good place. The talent is there. Suppose your house was perfect and nobody wanted to come check it out due to being jealous. Obviously, Mike Zimmer wasn’t happy with the efforts of his team last night. He clearly believes that his team did not perform to the standards that he is holding his players to. The only way is up! This Vikings season will have many ups and some downs. But hey, there’s nothing a little WD-40 can't fix, right?
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