"The Vikings did what a Super Bowl contender should do in the situation they were in: they manhandled a less talented team in their own stadium. I don't expect them to lose another game until they play the Patriots on December second."
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We release two Minnesota Sports Ramble blogs a week, one on Tuesday (Minnesota Vikings related) and one on Thursday (Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Timberwolves related).
In our latest edition, Vikings analyst Mike Coenen discusses the Vikings impressive 37-17 victory over the Jets, Kirk Cousins, Sam Darnold, DeFilippo v. Shurmur, and the upcoming Sunday Night game against the Saints.
Esteemed Star Tribune columnist Patrick Ruesse said that, in their 37-17 victory over the Jets, the Vikings played like a Super Bowl contending team for the first time this year. Do you agree?
This past Sunday was probably the best the Vikings looked thus far this season, even though they were playing an inconsistent Jets team. To say they looked like Super Bowl contenders? Perhaps. The defense played like a Super Bowl contender, while the offense looked good, but not great, despite the fact they put 37 points on the board. Some of their scoring was the result of good field position after a turnover.
The Vikings did what a Super Bowl contender should do in the situation they were in: they manhandled a less talented team in their own stadium. So, if that’s the criteria that Reusse is applying here, then, yes, the Vikings played like a Super Bowl contender this past Sunday against the Jets.
During the game on Sunday, rookie quarterback Sam Darnold definitely looked like a rookie, and the entire Jets team didn’t do much better. Does that make you any less impressed with the Vikings victory?
Sam Darnold is a good, young quarterback with a bright future. Like most rookie QBs, he’s going to have his share of ups and downs. The game against the Vikings was definitely a down week for him, as the complicated schemes of the Viking defense confused and confounded the inexperienced rookie. The Jets offense was way over-matched in this game, pure and simple.
That said, I’m not any less impressed with the Vikings victory. They came in and dominated a weaker opponent on the road, which is what is expected from a Super Bowl contender.
Does DeFilippo seem to be doing a better job than Schurmur as Offensive Coordinator?
DeFilippo is doing an adequate job. He has a lot of weapons to work with, albeit a less than average offensive line. What Schurmur did last year was actually very impressive, because he had tremendous success with a very mediocre quarterback who was supposed to be riding the bench all year. Schurmur doesn't get the credit he deserves for what he accomplished with last year’s team.
You love Kirk Cousins now, don’t you? Boy, did the Vikings ever make the right decision signing him, especially considering how poorly their other former quarterbacks are doing.
I’m not super enamored with Kirk Cousins. He’s good, but he’s not Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, or Drew Brees. He is better, however, than Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater, and Case Keenum. So yeah, if the Vikings objective is in fact to get to the Super Bowl, signing Cousins was the right decision, considering the fact that Rodgers, Brady, and Brees were not available.
The Vikings are (barely...) on top of the NFC North. Will they stay there?
I do expect the Vikings to in effect “crank it up a notch” from here. I don’t expect them to lose a game until December 2 when they travel to play the Patriots. In the meantime, I expect the mediocrity of the Bears, Lions, and even the Packers to show itself and keep each of them hovering around .500.
What do the Vikings need to do to beat the Saints? What is your prediction?
To beat the Saints the Vikings need to stop Drew Brees, and I think they will. Facing a raucous home crowd on a nationally televised game, with its prime-time noise and atmosphere, will be too much for the Saints to overcome. They are definitely playing well, and will be looking for retribution, but the Vikings finally have their defense clicking a bit, and I expect them to stymy and stifle the 18 year veteran all evening. It won’t be a blow-out, but another arms-length, workmanlike effort. 27-17 Vikings.
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.