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.