I’m not surprised the Vikings beat the Chargers, because from one week to the next we really don’t know which team is going to show up. Fortunately, the right Minnesota team showed up and picked up a big road win over the AFC West Conference leaders.

The Vikes are the same team that blew leads to both Dallas and Baltimore, trounced Seattle, and nearly blew double-digit leads at home to both Detroit and Carolina.

This team plays so inconsistently, it’s frustrating. If the play calling wasn’t so conservative, the Vikes could easily be 7-2 or even 8-1. I fault Coach Mike Zimmer for most of this, but Kirk Cousins needs to play a full game. He did much better against the Chargers, but for $33 million a year he should. Good thing the defense showed up and forced another turnover. That interception by Eric Kendrick led to a touchdown and a 13-3 lead in the second quarter, which proved to be the difference in the game.

Now let’s talk about the Gophers and their loss at Iowa. It looked like Coach Zimmer was calling all the offensive plays and not Coach PJ Fleck, because it reminded me how conservatively the Vikings play. Minnesota had chances to beat Iowa, thanks to their great play, but twice in the first half they settled for field goals when they had driven inside the red zone. Wasted opportunities are two words the Gophers have in common with the Vikes.

Winning the week was Gary Ringstorm at 11-7. Not very good, but better than my 9-9 mark. Who would have picked Washington beating Tampa Bay, Carolina beating host Arizona, Denver losing at home and host Pittsburgh tying Detroit? Of course, Arizona was without Kyler Murray and the Steelers without Big Ben, which I didn’t know when I made my picks.

In the six college games selected, I’m going to take Michigan State, UCLA, Oklahoma, Wake Forest, Cincinnati and Oregon.

As for the NFL, I’m going to take New Orleans, Miami, Carolina, Buffalo, Cleveland, San Francisco, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Arizona, Dallas, LA Chargers and Green Bay over Minnesota. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Vikings lead most of the game only to once again cough it up in the fourth quarter.

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