One of the strangest games of this NFL season. A myriad of thoughts.
- Dan Bailey didn’t just miss three field goals and an extra point. He missed the four kicks by a combined hundred yards. This looked like Chuck Knoblauch throwing to first base. Kevin Na not being able to “pull the trigger” at TPC Sawgrass. Mike Zimmer was quoted postgame, “If you guys want me to fire guys for making a mistake here or there, we wouldn’t have any players.” So it seems Bailey will kick again Sunday. And that’s a win for the Bears.
- Bailey’s missed kicks were essential. Five minutes into the second quarter, the Vikings were dominating the game and had almost nothing to show for it. What should have been a 10-0 lead was a 6-0 lead and it took only one perfectly-thrown Tom Brady pass to Scottie Miller to erase that lead.
- There’s no reason to write about Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson. They are the two best players on this team and stopping this offense starts with them. But they’ve added a few wrinkles.
- Irv Smith Jr. was brilliant versus Tampa. He was actually better than his stats because there wasn’t an easy catch in the four he made. Cousins is clearly looking to him as the safety valve option.
- Seems Gary Kubiak is starting to move to more two-back sets, with C.J. Ham at fullback. And Ham is becoming a weapon in the passing game from that position.
- Kirk Cousins had five carries for 41 yards against Tampa. But the Vikings actually called a draw for him on 3rd and short and a few times he didn’t wait for the play to breakdown. He just took off. Cousins ain’t gonna be confused for Lamar Jackson any day soon, but his legs are becoming a significant asset for the Vikings.
- This defense is shell of what it used to be. But a few things I noticed during this game.
- Tom Brady missed at least three wide open receivers and it would have added at least 60-75 yards to his tally. Brady just doesn’t seem to be able to get on the same page with this receiving corps and it doesn’t make much sense because his receiving corps is seriously talented. There are gaps to be exploited throughout this Vikings secondary.
- Jeff Gladney is playing good football outside and should have had a game-changing interception of Brady in the end zone. He was called for pass interference but the call was horrible. Gladney is poised to have “an arrival game”. The Bears need it to not be Sunday.
Vikings CB Jeff Gladney picked off this ball and would’ve scored a touchdown. The Refs decided that since Buccaneers WR Mike Evans fell down, that it was DPI.
The Buccaneers scored the very next play. 14 point swing in favor of Tampa Bay. pic.twitter.com/qMgQuURjiM
— Vikes Insider (@vikesinsider) December 13, 2020
- D.J. Wonnum is giving the Minnesota pass rush a little kick. Don’t be surprised if he gives Charles Leno trouble off the edge.
Yards – 7th
Points – 14th
Rushing – 6th
Passing – 17th
Yards – 22nd
Points – 24th
Rushing – 20th
Passing – 26th
Takeaways – T19
Giveaways – T27
Differential – T24