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Our three weekly Minnesota Sports Ramble blogs are released on Tuesday (Minnesota Vikings related), one on Thursday (Minnesota Wild related), and one on Friday (Minnesota Timberwolves related).
DeFilippo as scapegoat, justification of Cousins hatred, the Vikings sputtering offense, a defense of low-scoring games, and more in this edition with Vikings analyst Mike Coenen.
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Perhaps an even bigger story than the Vikings 21-7 loss to the Seahawks, the team fired Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo. Do you agree with the move? What things that are wrong with the offense are his fault and what aren’t?
I do not agree with the move. This was simply a case of scapegoating.
As I’ve been saying from the very beginning, the biggest problem the Vikings have this season is their terrible offensive line. Many prophets and pundits said very early on this season that the O-line would be the Viking’s weak link, and those predictions have been spot-on.
Much of the blame for this goes to the person who oversees nearly all player acquisitions, General Manager Rick Spielman. Spielman made virtually no attempt to improve the offensive line during the off-season, either in the draft or through free agency.
Instead, he thought it wise to spend way too much money on a second-tier quarterback.
Some were saying in the off-season that the Vikings should keep Case Keenum and use that money to bring in quality offensive linemen. Ah, hindsight! John DeFilippo and Kirk Cousins are taking much of the blame for the Viking’s offensive woes, but in reality Rick Spielman and his neglect of the offensive line is at fault here.
There was lots of Cousins hate on social media during and after the game. It’s getting worse every week. You’ve called him an above average quarterback. Did he play like one yesterday? Were his problems his own, were they circumstantial, or otherwise?
No, Cousins did not have an above-average performance on MNF against the Seahawks. Was it all his fault? No. Was it all the fault of the offensive line? No.
While the offensive line is, in fact, playing poorly, Kirk Cousins is a quarterback who is playing scared right now. He knows he doesn't have a lot of time in the pocket, so he is rushing things and his timing is off. Cousins is a pocket passer who has no pocket to pass from. He is in constant panic mode. Some quarterbacks thrive in panic mode and are great at ad-libbing, but Cousins is not that kind of quarterback. He is a slightly more mobile version of Sam Bradford, only slightly less accurate. If given the time, both quarterbacks will pick you apart. If rushed and hurried, they both become sub-par very quickly. Kirk Cousins has been sub-par the last three games.
Were the Vikings offensive struggles concerning to you, is the Seattle defense just that good, or is something else true?
The Vikings offensive woes are concerning to anyone who is hoping that they make the playoffs. The Seattle defense looked awfully good, but they were playing against an offense that is not clicking at all right now. The Viking head coach wants to run, but they have no run blockers. The (former) offensive coordinator wants to pass, but they have no pass blockers.
Plus, the defense is struggling as a result of the poor offensive play as well. There are too many three-and-out(s), which increases the amount of time the defense is on the field, and they are wearing down because of it.
Until late, the game was a low-scoring, defensive affair. What would you say to people who think that those types of games are boring?
The Vikings/Seahawks tilt (21-7), as well as the Sunday night game between the Bears and Rams (15-6), were a breath of fresh air. The NFL is becoming too much like Arena League football these past few seasons in that it is becoming almost rare for a team to not score on a possession. There needs to be more balance, which means better defensive play and lower scoring games. I’ll take a 21-7 game over a 48-42 game any day.
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.