“The Vikings defense started out slow this season, but have been ramping up its intensity and level of play in the past few weeks. So what transpired on Sunday was no coincidence. Offenses play poorly because of good defensive play. ”
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We release three Minnesota Sports Ramble blogs a week, one on Tuesday (Minnesota Vikings related), one on Thursday (Minnesota Wild related), and one on Friday (Minnesota Timberwolves related).
For today's edition, Vikings analyst and podcast co-host Mike Coenen discusses the Vikings dominant performance against the Detroit Lions and whether the Chicago Bears are for real.
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The Vikings beat the Lions 24-9. How much of it had to do with how well the Vikings played, and how much had to do with how poorly the Lions played?
It’s always hard to make this kind of determination. The big story of the day was how well the Vikings defense played, as opposed to how bad the Lions offense played. I definitely think there is a correlation between the two. The Vikings defense smothered, confounded, and confused Matthew Stafford from start to finish. Everson Griffen played extremely well in only his second game back, which really helped solidify the defense line. The Vikings defense started out slow this season, but have been ramping up its intensity and level of play in the past few weeks. So what transpired on Sunday was no coincidence. Offenses play poorly because of good defensive play.
How much different would have the outcome been if the Lions still had Vikings killer Golden Tate?
I don’t think one person (whether it’s Golden Tate or Barry Sanders) would have done much in the way of altering the game. The Viking defense was simply too dominant. If anything, perhaps some better offensive line play on the part of the Lions might have helped a little. There’s not much a wide receiver can do to help a quarterback when he’s got 2-3 defenders clawing at him a nanosecond after taking the snap. Golden Tate would not have hurt matters for the Lions, but I don’t think he would have done a whole lot to help them either. It was an offensive line issue for the Lions.
Any other insights about the Lions game?
The Lions are not a legitimate contender in the North. The Vikings, because of their defense, are quite possibly the divisions best team, which brings us to the next question.
After their 41-9 trouncing of the Bills (who, if you’ll recall, the Vikings lost to…), do you believe in the Bears? Who will win in the Vikings Sunday night match-up in Chicago in two weeks?
I still do not believe that the Bears are a legitimate contender. That might change after their upcoming match-up. We will know a lot more about these teams in two weeks. I expect the game to be low scoring, with the Vikings scoring a late, fourth quarter touchdown to beat the Bears 20-14.
Mike Coenen is a writer, historian, professor, and author from Little Falls, Minnesota. He is the Vikings analyst for Rambling On and is the co-host of the Minnesota Sports Ramble podcast. Since 2016 he has been creating content for Rambling On as sports analyst and podcast co-host.