There’s really no way to sugarcoat an 0-3 start to the season for the Minnesota Vikings, but the team showed some improvement in Sunday’s 31-30 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Despite not coming out on top, the team fought till the end against last year’s AFC runner up.
The Vikings lost on a late fourth quarter field goal by Stephen Gostkowski, who went five for five on the day with a 55-yard long. Dan Bailey went 1-2 on the day, missing a 49-yard field goal that could have changed the outcome of the game.
Kirk Cousins didn’t play his best game of his career by any means, but he had a bounce back performance after an ugly game in Indianapolis. He finished his day going 16 for 27 for 251 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions, meaning he is now tied through three games with his interception total from 2019 with six.
The highlight of the afternoon was the Vikings first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Justin Jefferson showed that he is more than capable of taking some of the pressure off the Vikings offense, as he finished the day with seven catches for 175 yards and a touchdown.
Gary Kubiak did a much better job at play calling and utilizing his playmakers more frequently. Dalvin Cook had a career day rushing the ball with 22 carries for 181 yards and a touchdown. Cook left the game with a leg injury in the fourth quarter and it’s something to keep an eye on leading up to the game in Houston next week.
It’s easy to question the Vikings team as a whole after the worst start in the Mike Zimmer era, but there’s certainly some bright spots on this roster despite the rough start. The defense let up some big plays but they were also missing five of their original starters. Mistakes aren’t common in a Zimmer led team, but neither is having such inexperienced cornerbacks.
Moving forward there’s not a lot of hope left after starting 0-3. Historically speaking, the Vikings have an extremely slim shot at making any sort of push for the playoffs after the rough start, and the schedule doesn’t look to get easier in the coming weeks.
The good news is that the Vikings are playing with a completely different team than originally anticipated before training camp started. Like many teams across the NFL, the injury bug has hit the Vikings locker room hard and several talented players will be returning for the 2021 season. The 2021 draft is also something to keep an eye on, as the Vikings might have a chance at a historically good quarterback.
There were several bright spots during Sunday’s matchup, with the biggest one being the rise of a potential star in Jefferson. Vikings fans were left wondering if the Stefon Diggs trade was the right move after his hot start in Buffalo, but it looks like they found his replacement.
For a more in-depth analysis of the Vikings loss to the Titans, tune into KFAN 100.3 and KFAN.com.