A Vikings Loss on Thanksgiving is Far From Disastrous

Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) is hit by Washington Commanders defensive finish Montez Sweat. Obligatory Credit score: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports activities.

Numerous Minnesota followers are in search of a robust bounce again sport from Kevin O’Connell’s squad. Dallas marched into U.S. Financial institution Stadium and left with a 40-3 victory. It was a humbling defeat, one which has sown seeds of doubt into our collective purple thoughts. A Vikings loss on Thanksgiving would appear to additional reinforce the notion that the staff isn’t worthy of its stellar report.

In current video games, Minnesota has proven some weaknesses. The offensive line has struggled to decelerate proficient defensive fronts. The beleaguered secondary has struggled to completely corral the opposition’s cross catchers. The run protection has generally been absent, and the dedication to operating the soccer has generally been missing.

If we shrink issues down to only the newest sport, we are able to see some extra purpose for concern, consternation, and catastrophizing. Check out among the numbers for the Cowboys:

  • 40 factors
  • 12/17 on third down
  • 458 whole yards
  • 307 passing yards
  • 7 sacks
  • 37:24 time of possession

In different phrases, issues bought ugly. Doesn’t a Vikings loss on Thanksgiving night time merely reinforce that Minnesota is in over its head?

Not at all.

In reality, I’m amongst those that consider that some midseason battle might be productive. Earlier within the week, Cole Smith wrote a bit for PurplePTSD detailing why he thinks the timing of the Cowboys loss might have “come at the right time.” He sees a possibility following the upcoming sport:

Luckily, the Vikings will obtain a mini-bye week following their Thanksgiving bout with the Patriots. This can permit the staff to get wholesome and get a few of their key contributors again. Their absences price the Vikings in opposition to the Cowboys and nearly price them in opposition to the Payments. If they will get wholesome after the bye week, they’ll nonetheless discipline a principally wholesome roster heading into December.

Certainly, the power to move right into a mini-bye is an effective factor. Ideally, the gamers can step away for a couple of days, taking time for his or her households and mates. A number of the staff’s injured gamers – Christian Darrisaw foremost amongst them – can hopefully get again to 100%.

Moreover, the teaching employees ought to profit from the additional days off. Whether or not they’re 9-2 or 8-3, the Vikings will probably be within the driver’s seat for the NFC North. That’s Objective #1 heading into the season. Successful the division secures at the least one dwelling playoff sport, a notable benefit after the gruelling common season.

The Vikings’ schedule will get simpler after this sport. The remaining opponents are as follows: the Jets, Lions, Colts, Giants, Packers, and Bears. That record of 6 groups doesn’t encourage a ton of worry. After all, wins aren’t a assure, and but the actual fact stays {that a} 3-game stretch involving the Payments, Cowboys, Patriots seems to be significantly extra daunting than one with the Jets, Lions, and Colts. Ditto for the ultimate trio of video games.

With all that being stated, we circle again to the article’s primary matter. A Vikings loss on Thanksgiving isn’t the tip of the world. The staff would wish to recommit to discovering methods to win and would wish to infuse their preparation with additional urgency. Clearly, it’d be a lot better if they may pursue future success as a staff that stands at 9-2, however an 8-3 report is nothing to be ashamed of.

The trail to securing the primary division title since 2017 stays vast open. Dropping tonight’s sport gained’t change that actuality, so let’s not get too far forward of ourselves if Minnesota stumbles.

Editor’s Observe: Info from Pro Football Reference and NFL.com helped with this piece.

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