The last time I posted a Vikings update, the Vikings and Josh Dobbs had just beaten the Falcons and Saints and were on their way to Denver. Things have changed a bit since then. The Vikings played a great game against the Broncos, but came up just 1 point short, losing 21-20. The good news is the Chiefs have played against the Broncos twice this year and only managed to score 9 and 19 points in those meetings. Then came... the Bears vs Vikings game. This was the worst game I have ever witnessed and even though the Vikings defense held strong, the Dobbs magic ran out... throwing 4 interceptions leading to a 12-10 win for the Bears.
After the Bye Week, the Vikings traveled to Las Vegas to face the Raiders where the Vikings came out with a 3-0 win with the only points coming on a Greg Joseph game winning field goal with 1:57 left in the game...yes you read that right! So many people were frustrated with this game, but I actually enjoyed it! This Vikings defense went on the road and shut out a team with Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs. The Vikings have a legitimate championship level defense and I have no doubt that the Vikings offense will get going again. With 9 minutes left in the game, QB Nick Mullens was called on to replace Josh Dobbs. I personally would have liked to see the change made earlier... sometime between the second half of the Bears game and the second half of the Raiders game, but I am happy KOC decided to make the change when he did. The positive outcome here is that KOC got literally everything he could out of the Dobbs magic and left no doubt that making the change to Mullens was the right decision. To expand on this, if he had made the change after the Broncos game, there may have still been some questions if he made the right decision. At least now we have a clear vision of who our QB is the rest of the season, barring any further injuries.
I want to give a quick shout out to Birdman's Blog from the preseason predictions. In the defensive section I had stated "Watch for Ivan Pace Jr to make some noise and possibly become the best defensive player for the Vikings (undrafted rookie from Cincinnati)!" Not only has he been one of the best players on the Vikings defense and the Captain.. he is THE HIGHEST RATED DEFENSIVE PLAYER IN THE NFL THROUGH WEEK 14! I also stated "Josh Metellus will be the ultimate multi-position player on this defense and will show up big in most games." Josh Metellus has been arguably the second best player on the defense and has played every single position at some point this season! Both Ivan Pace and Josh Metellus has absolutely thrived under DC Brian Flores and I don't think this Top 10/Top 5 defense is slowing down anytime soon. They have given up 1 touchdown in the last 3 games, which is insane. This is the type of defense that can take a team far into the postseason. Hopefully the entire Vikings team can get hot at the right time!
If you have ever read my blog, you know I take much more of a Positive mindset with things in life. This Vikings team sitting at 7-6 right now has been an incredible accomplishment considering all of the injuries and unlucky bounces the team has gone through. The team has basically gone 6-2 without their best player in Justin Jefferson, Curtis Cousins got injured after a 4-4 start (this can be considered a positive because Cousins is selfish and negative and does not lead his teams to winning success when it matters historically), we lead the leagues in turnovers given away, and a bunch of other key starters have been sidelined with injuries at times this year. Just incredible how we are sitting at 7-6 and in the 6th seed for the playoffs.
For Week 15, the 7-6 Vikings will travel to the 7-6 Bengals. The Bengals are starting former Vikings QB Jake Browning since Joe Burrow was injured for the season. Browning has helped the Bengals win 2 in a row by scoring 34 points in back to back weeks against the Jaguars and Colts. The Vikings defense has performed like a top 3 defense since week 4, while the Jaguars and Colts have 2 of the worst defenses in the NFL. This is going to be a tough game for Browning and the Bengals. If Mullens can help get this Vikings offense going, I would expect a Vikings victory to improve to 8-6. I predict a 24-12 win for the Vikings, putting them at 8-6 ahead of the final 3 games of the season! Go Vikings!
2 Final Notes:
1) The Vikings cannot re-sign Cousins to an extension. The money won't work without letting go other top players and we haven't been competitive with him in these 5.5 seasons. Let's move on and draft our guys in the first round...otherwise why did we hire Kevin O'Connell? If we re-sign Cousins it will put the Vikings back another 2-5 years and will end in the firing of KOC and Kwesi. We are playing better without Cousins, just like we did in the 88 games before Cousins.
2) Don't Drink & Drive. It is F***ING SELFISH. OC Wes Phillips was pulled over for drinking and driving 2 days before the Raiders game and I hope the Vikings do the right thing and fire him or at least suspend him for the rest of the season. On the same day, musician 2Chainz was also sent to a hospital in critical condition after getting hit by a drunk driver. I was rear ended 7 years ago by a drunk driver and it still has a lasting impact on my life. Call an Uber, call a friend, make smart decisions. If you can't, then you need to stop drinking. Drinking and driving is so F***ED up.
Go Vikings and stop being negative about this season! I feel much better about this year's team making a playoff run than I did about last year's team. Get on board before it's too late, folks! We have some magic brewing... it's all about being the hottest team in the league when it matters most... and the Vikings are saving that for about a month from now!