Vikings not prime-time players!

Kirk Cousins
Steve Floyd/MSR News Kirk Cousins led the Vikings 1-4 in prime time.

Seattle improved to 8-5 and apparently have left the Vikings in the dust for the fifth NFC Wild Card after an impressive 21-7 domination of the Vikings on Monday Night Football. The Vikings have now dropped three of four and are hanging by a thread to the sixth and final NFC Wild Card. As a result, personnel changes are already underway — see below.

The Seahawks ran right down the throat of the Vikings’ vaunted defense for 214 yards rushing. It allowed the Seahawks to pin the Vikings deep in their own end. The famed 12th man — the noisy Seattle fans — are very loud and offensive. Signals and audibles are very challenging under these conditions.

The game was 3-0 Seahawks at halftime. Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for just 27 yards in the first half.

Seattle is 25-5-1 in prime time since 2010 and virtually unbeatable at home, 16-2 in prime time. The Vikings can’t seem to play at night; they are just 1-4 in games in prime time in 2018.

The Vikings were supposed to be one of the league’s best teams after finishing 13-3 last year and signing quarterback Cousins to an $84 million guaranteed contract.

So far, establishing better balance has been an issue. The Vikings have lost their identity. With three games left, they’d better find it fast.

Defensively, the Vikings are sixth in the NFL, but on offense they simply are not a consistent running team right now, ranked 30th in the league. Monday night they ran 21 times for just 77 yards. They got stuffed at the Seahawks’ two-yard line on fourth down and had a field goal attempt blocked.

Cousins had another critical lost fumble. It added up to a wasted opportunity.

The Vikings are just 2-4-1 on the road, and if the playoffs began today, at 6-6-1 the Vikings would be the sixth NFC playoff team as a Wild Card traveling to play either Chicago or Dallas. Wild Card teams cannot host playoff games.

The Bears, after beating the Los Angeles Rams 15-6 Sunday, are 9-4. The Vikings would have to win three in a row and have the Bears lose three straight to win the NFC North. Stranger things have happened; however, the Bears look solid right now.

First things first: The Vikings need to win Sunday when they host the 7-6 Miami Dolphins at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings lead Carolina, Philadelphia and Washington — all three are 6-7 for the final NFC Wild Card.

This just in:

As we go to press, the Vikings announced they have fired Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo. QB Coach Kevin Stefanski is the interim OC and will call plays Sunday vs. Miami.

Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM740 Monday and Friday at 9:10 am, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to info@larry-fitzgerald.com, orvisit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.

About Larry Fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald is a longstanding contributing columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. He can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday and Friday at 9:10 am, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to info@larry-fitzgerald.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.

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