I know the pundits praised Kirk Cousins on his performance Sunday in the Vikings’ home game with undefeated Tennessee. But let’s give credit where credit is due. The defense allowed Minnesota to take a 24-12 lead into the third quarter before it all went sideways.
Justin Jefferson had his coming-out party. The rookie receiver, who won a National Championship with LSU earlier this year, showed why the Vikings were smart to take him in the first round of the 2020 draft. He had a great game with 175 yards receiving and his first NFL touchdown. He got open and Kirk Cousins kept throwing the ball his way.
Dalvin Cook also showed up for the first time this season and had a career-high 181 yards rushing and one score. The offensive did a better job of protecting Captain Kirk, who still holds onto the ball way too long, and opened up some holes for Cook to run through.
But just like that, Tennessee scored two touchdowns for a 25-24 lead. Minnesota responded as Kyle Rudolph had a spectacular touchdown catch.
If you were thinking that Minnesota was going to get their first win, well the offense sputtered because the line fell apart and the defense gave up two drives that allowed the Titans to kick two field goals for a 31-30 win. Once again, with the game on the line, Captain Kirk failed to come through. He couldn’t move his team down the field to secure the win, while his counterpart, Ryan Tannehill, had no problem.
The Vikings’ final two drives were a three-and-out after a penalty, a Cousins sack and another penalty. The next possession started off with a roughing-the-passer penalty on Tennessee, but an incompletion and a bad snap that flew behind Captain Kirk led to a fourth and 26. Cousin’s final heave was nearly caught by Adam Thielen, before it was picked off as Minnesota fell to 0-3.
There was also Dan Bailey missing a 49-yard field goal, while Stephen Gostkowski was 6-6 with three 50-yard plus field goals.
Here are some of Captain Kirk’s woes in the game. If not for an under-thrown pass to Thielen, Minnesota could have led 21-9 at the half. He also threw a pick-six on a badly thrown ball on the opening drive of the second half that was negated for a stupid penalty during the interception return.
The Vikings’ defense kept the Titans from scoring as the lead stayed at 17-9.
The Vikings giving up a 12-points lead wasn’t a surprise, but it wasn’t as bad as Atlanta, who for the second straight week led by 16 points in the fourth quarter but lost. Ouch!
Winning the week was Nathan Wynn at 12-3, which was not as good as his mom, Corrina Wynn, did the week before at 14-1. I went a paltry 8-7, a week after going 13-2. That’s what I get for taking the Rams, Atlanta, LA Chargers, Arizona, New Orleans and Baltimore.
This week I’m taking Tennessee, Tampa Bay, Houston, Dallas, Cincinnati, Chicago, LA Rams, Kansas City, San Francisco and Green Bay at home. I can also see Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and New England winning.
That leaves Baltimore, Seattle, New Orleans, Arizona and Buffalo winning on the road, I hope!