Vikings on 4 game winning streak! Beat the Packers & Falcons! DOBBS HAS ARRIVED! Host Saints Wk 10!
Our Minnesota Vikings are now on a 4 game winning streak...and it's been accomplished with Justin Jefferson on the IR for the entire stretch! They have amazingly turned this season around from how bleak it looked when the Vikings were 0-3 and then 1-4. The job HC Kevin O'Connell has done has been nothing short of spectacular and cannot be overlooked. I will go into more detail on that later, but the Vikings are absolutely back into the playoff picture at 5-4 and it doesn't feel like we will be slowing down when you look at the upcoming schedule. I should also note that even with the spectacular coaching from KOC and Flores, players are being asked to step up that we weren't even expecting to play, coming into the year. It truly has been this entire team and culture that has banded together and believed that they were better than their start, and they are proving it! This is what sports are all about!
Since I have been busy the last couple weeks, I wasn't able to post last week for the first time ever. I just do this for fun (and it was definitely on my mind) but I honestly had more important things going on. One of my best friends got married and I was asked to be in the wedding party and to be one of the ushers alongside my brother. It was an amazing wedding and I was so honored to be a part of the biggest day of their lives! Thanks Karly and Jake for putting together such a wonderful wedding day and weekend!
BACK TO THE VIKINGS! In Week 8, the Vikings traveled to Lambeau Field after beating the 49ers 22-17, looking to beat our biggest rival and extend the winning streak to 3 games. The Vikings ended up beating the Packers fairly easily, 24-10, and we finally scored our FIRST rushing touchdown on the season! QB Cousins added 2 second half passing touchdowns to help lead the Vikings to a dominant win in Green Bay. I predicted the Vikings would win 69-3, so I was close! The biggest moment of this game happened with 10:30 left in the 4th Quarter when QB Cousins suffered a non contact injury to his lower leg after pump faking a pass. He went down and got up limping in what appeared to be an ankle sprain at first glance. After the game and the next morning it was confirmed to be a ruptured Achilles Tendon, ending his 2023 season. This next part may be a little controversial, but everyone these days are way too soft and PC. I will start by saying I never want to see any athletes suffer big time injuries and I would never wish that upon anyone. With that being said, this is honestly the best thing that could have happened to the Vikings organization. We were never going to win a Super Bowl with Cousins, yet we kept re-signing him and we were now in a 6th agonizing season with the guy. It would have been a much better parting of ways if we had traded him, but sometimes things happen for a reason in ways nobody could have predicted. Injuries are part of sports, they suck, and if this is the last time Cousins plays for the Vikings...I thank him for absolutely nothing. He will go down as the biggest robber in the history of Minnesota sports. We won 1 playoff game with him in 6 seasons and made the playoffs twice... yet we paid him almost $200 million. With the win over the Packers, the Vikings improved to 4-4 and extended their winning streak to 3 games after Jaren Hall finished the game out. Before Cousins had gotten injured, I predicted the Vikings would miss the playoffs. After we got news of his season ending injury, my prediction changed and I said the Vikings would make the playoffs and they will win at least 1 game. Before we signed another QB, I said I believe Jaren Hall or that other QB we aquire at the trade deadline would be someone who would care about winning and listen to KOC, unlike Cousins. This would be the formula for the Vikings newly found success. Side note: Packers QB Jordan Love is absolutely horrible and the Packers definitely need to stay with him for at least another 10-15 seasons. Give him a chance guys, he totally could be super good!
The trade deadline was 2 days after the Packers game, so naturally all Vikings fans were wondering what the Vikings would decide to do: would we be sellers or buyers? The Vikings ended up trading for Arizona Cardinals starting QB, Joshua Dobbs, for our 6th round pick and getting their 7th round pick back. We then traded away LG Ezra Cleveland for a 6th round pick. With only 2 days with the team, Josh Dobbs was going to come into Week 9 as Minnesota's backup to Rookie QB Jaren Hall. It makes sense since Dobbs, who is in his 5th season and just balled out with a Cardinals team that was actively tanking, wasn't able to practice with the team and hadn't learned the playbook yet. Even though I didn't write my posts, I did make my way to Twitter. First, I told my friends and family that if Cousins was still healthy, we would not make the playoffs. I also said that whoever wins the job between Hall and Dobbs, that now the Vikings WOULD make the playoffs and keep this winning streak alive (the Vikings would not have beaten the Falcons with Cousins). My 2 main tweets I had on this topic were as follows: This one was after the Dobbs signing "I could definitely see Jaren Hall or Josh Dobbs excelling in this Vikings offense. The question is who is going to take advantage of the opportunity?! Our season is not over at all Vikings fans...in fact, we have the opportunity to be even better now! #SKOL" Then, after watching Josh Dobbs highlights from his 8 starts with the Cardinals this year, I said "Josh Dobbs reminds me of a guy that has been in the league for 4-5 years and hadn't been given a true opportunity with an offense like the Vikings, just balled out with a bad team, and is now finally getting a legit shot on a sick offense... just like Case Keenum in 2017! LFG #SKOL (also, he is an actual Rocket Scientist*)" I told my brother that I did think we were going to beat the Falcons with Jaren Hall, but then Dobbs would get a shot due to the fact that he had already been playing every game for the first half of the season and was playing very well to the point where he had been a top 10 fantasy football QB... What happened in the Falcons game blew my mind.
In Week 9, the Vikings had a tough task having to travel to Atlanta to face the division leading Falcons who also have one of the best defenses in the NFL. *Oh, and on top of that, the Vikings came into the game without their LT1, WR1, WR4, QB1, & QB2. During the game, we also lost our QB3, WR3, and RB2.* Jaren Hall started out the game looking solid and actually put together a wonderful drive before getting knocked out with a concussion at the 1-yard line on his second drive of the game. Like I said earlier, you hate to see to see guys go down with bad injuries, but sometimes things happen for a reason. With Hall knocked out of the game in the first quarter, the only other QB the Vikings had on Sunday was Josh Dobbs. Being traded only 5 days prior and only being with the team for 2 days, Dobbs didn't know the playbook yet outside of what was installed for this week and didn't even know his teammates names! He was sent in when the game was tied 3-3, and was tackled for a safety on his first drive after the Falcons pinned the Vikings inside the 5 yard line on a wonderful punt. Over the coarse of the next few drives, the Falcons forced Dobbs to fumble 2 times, but luckily DC Brian Flores and the Defense have been playing dominant ball and kept holding the Falcons to field goals...keeping the score to only 11-3 Falcons. Joshua Dobbs finally got comfortable and officially arrived late in the first half. He led the Vikings on a 13 play, 75 yard drive, capping it off with a passing touchdown to Mattison to help the Vikings go into half only down 11-10. During the drive, with 1:17 left in the half, Dobbs made one of the best plays I have ever seen an NFL QB make. On 3rd&10 from the ATL 13 yard line, Dobbs shook multiple sack attempts, ran to the near side of the TV, got an amazing block from Cam Akers, leaped the defender that Akers had blown up, and then dove for the first down at the 2 yard line. You see these types of plays from QBs in college, but there aren't many outside of Mike Vick and Lamar Jackson that I have seen making a play like that! Go watch it again if you haven't!
Then came the second half... Dobbs played with his HAIR ON FIRE AND LIKE A MAN POSSESSED WITH NOTHING TO LOSE! He eventually led us on back to back drives resulting in a 18 yard rushing touchdown by Dobbs, a successful 2-point conversion, and field goal to take the lead 24-21. After a couple of punts by each team and 9 minutes left in the 4th Quarter, Taylor Heinicke and the Falcons running game went on a 13 play, 79 yard touchdown drive to take the lead 28-24 with only 2:08 left in the game. My heart was racing so fast for the first time watching a Vikings game since the 2017 Minneapolis Miracle game. I just had never seen a QB for the Vikings play at this level with a clear drive to win AT ALL COSTS since Case Keenum. No part of me thought we were going to do anything besides score a touchdown and win. Dobbs ended up leading the Vikings on an 11 play, 75 yard touchdown drive in under 2 minutes to win 31-28! The drive included an unbelievable pass and catch to Jordan Addison, an insane 4th&7 scramble by Dobbs avoiding a sack and keeping the game alive, and capping it off with the game winning touchdown pass to Brandon Powell with 22 second left after scanning the entire field before looking all the way back to Powell for the win!
The Vikings also scored more points in this game since the Vikings beat the Colts last year. This was one of the most exciting Vikings games I have ever witnessed in my lifetime. It was also possibly the greatest performance by a QB and Head Coach in NFL history. Dobbs had arrived to Minnesota on Friday, had not met his teammates, wasn't able to practice, and didn't know the playbook outside of a few plays that were installed for this week. The entire game, HC Kevin O'Connell (while the 40 second play clock was ticking) would call in the play, Dobbs would say the play in the huddle and then ask each WR what routes they were running, then they would break the huddle and O'Connell would go back into Dobbs' ear and explain to him what to look for before Dobbs would hike it. That would include O'Connell, for example, saying "you're going to snap it, you will have 7 seconds, make sure you are looking right, pump fake to the middle route, and then this guy on the left will be wide open." They were doing that on EVERY PLAY! INCREDIBLE! This Josh Dobbs is going to be a special player for the Vikings the rest of the season and I believe the Vikings will shock the world as we get to the end of the season... I ain't calling a Super Bowl victory.... but you never knowwww! What O'Connell was doing with Hall and Dobbs with the play calling also reminded me of Bill Walsh. If you go watch old videos on the 49ers with Walsh and Joe Montana, that is what Walsh used to do with Montana. Walsh would call in plays and tell Montana exactly what to expect and which WR would be running wide open. This is a big reason why I keep saying that Kevin O'Connell will eventually be the Head Coach that leads our Vikings to our first ever Super Bowl victory. We are slowly seeing evidence that we have the best Head Coach in the NFL, and Sunday's game gave us a sneak peak into the future of what we can expect for years to come. I am not saying it will necessarily come with Dobbs or Hall leading the Vikings to a Super Bowl, but it will be this type of smart, athletic, strong arm QB that will allow O'Connell to help mold them into the leader we need to become the best team in the NFL. KOC hasn't been able to do that with Cousins, but he is able to now do that with these QBs and we are a better team because of it. Cousins puts up big stats and all, but the dude freaks out in big moments, constantly misses wide open targets, and leaves so many points on the field. And before you say "well he was leading the league in yards and touchdowns," yes, that can also be true. A QB can lead the NFL in those categories through 6 weeks while also still leaving way too many yards and points out there. Both can be true and that is why Cousins is such a frustrating QB. It is so refreshing to now have 2 QBs that can get into the game and be better than Cousins from an overall team success standpoint. Yes, we are better with either of these guys running the offense the rest of the way. You all can keep laughing at me, but just keep on watching! *Another side note: I have never liked Cousins from the day we signed him because he has always been fool's gold. I have stood by that so strongly that I have told my friends multiple times over the last 6 seasons that I would rather have any other QB in the league come in and play instead of Cousins and they would laugh every time...well guys, we just had a guy come in that didn't know the playbook and didn't even know the names of his teammates and lead us to a ROAD VICTORY and led us to the most points we have scored all season. Those friends know who they are! :)*
Week 10, the Vikings will travel back home to host the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are very similar to the Falcons. They have a solid offense and defense, just like the Falcons and Vikings have and I predict this will be another tough game. Josh Dobbs will get the start, but this time he will actually have time to meet his teammates and work with KOC for a full week. I predict a Vikings 27-17 victory to improve to 6-4 and extend our winning streak to 5 games! Let's go, Vikings! Be loud this weekend, Minnesota fans! BAROOOOO!