Vikings offense falls asleep in the second half again, lose 34-31 to Ravens in OT. Now 3-5.
Another week, another one score loss by the Vikings. Minnesota had leads of 17-3 in the first half and 24-10 in the second half, but still managed to lose 34-31 in overtime. The Vikings defense also gave the offense every opportunity to win the game as they forced 2 turnovers while the Ravens didn't force any, including a key Anthony Barr "Superman" play to intercept Lamar in overtime after the Ravens won the coin toss. In both cases and how much of the second half went, the Vikings went 3 & out on what felt like every possession.
There are 2 points I need to mention: First, fans are frustrated with the Vikings running the ball. They have to keep running considering Dalvin Cook is their best player and one of the best RBs in the entire NFL. Plus running the ball is needed for a balance attack, keeping the the defense honest, and it provides a much needed physical element to the game (whether it's working or not), a physical element that cannot be measured using analytics. Second, lots of fans are frustrated with the Vikings play-calling. I agree, not every play call works perfect but that happens to every team in the NFL. The QB is the leader on offense and the Offensive Coordinator is NOT calling in passing plays that is asking Cousins to throw the ball to our TE and FB more often than Thielen and Jefferson... Conklin and Hamm have more targets the last couple of weeks than our star receivers, that is ALL QB decision making. Another example that shows Cousins ability to play the QB position came on the OT drive after Anthony Barr made the Superman play to intercept Lamar Jackson. It was 3rd & 9 and the Ravens were clearly going to blitz 7 defenders. This is what Cousins had to say after throwing the ball away as a defender got to him quickly, "We had longer developing routes. They brought one more than we could block and we didn't have the ability to hang on for the longer developing routes." The only problem? The Vikings DID have enough blockers to combat the blitz and give his receiver's routes time to develop. The Vikings had 5 OL, 1 TE, and 1 RB. The part that Cousins wasn't capable of doing was simply changing/sliding the protection pre snap and his 7 blockers would have picked up the 7-man blitz, easily giving him time to make a potential 1st down throw. Look up the play if you don't believe me. These are basic QB pre snap call outs that a 10-year vet being paid $150 million should be able to execute; details QBs learn to call out in High School.
The Ravens, losing the turnover battle 0-2, were also able to complete the comeback in the game due to the Vikings constantly going 3 & out after the 1st half. The final play count ended up in Baltimore's favor 89-52. How do you expect the Vikings defense to perform well when they can't get any rest when they are constantly on the field against one of the best offenses in the NFL? The Vikings didn't commit any turnovers, but constantly going 3 & out is essentially the same thing when it comes to a defense. I keep saying it, but the offense needs to figure it out fast if they are going to have any chance at making the playoffs this season. Hopefully we can get the season turned around to make Sundays more fun in Minnesota!