If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. The Vikings finally reached the winner’s circle, doing what the Twins could not do by beating Houston 31-23. It took them four tries to get their first win but we all know it’s not how you start it’s how you finish.
Now 1-3 after one-quarter of the season, can the Vikings continue to improve?
Trying to replace six starters on defense from 2019 has been the most glaring problem for the 2020 Vikings. They have been overwhelmed on that side of the ball so far, allowing 43, 28, and 31 points in losses to Green Bay, Indianapolis, and Tennessee. Those three teams are a combined 10-1.
Sunday, the Vikings beat the Houston Texans 31-23 on the road in what turned out to be the Desperation Bowl—two 2019 playoff teams starting 0-3 and going all out to avoid 0-4. For now, the Vikings have snapped out of it.
Last week was extremely challenging for the Vikings. They were told by the NFL mid-week to stay away from their training facility because the team they last played, Tennessee, had as many as 15 players and staff test positive for the coronavirus.
After 48 hours in isolation, and a series of tests, all of which were negative for COVID-19, the Vikings returned on Thursday and prepared for Sunday’s game. Dalvin Cook continues to play great football after a career-best 181 yards against Tennessee. He ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns in the victory over Houston.
Cook leads the NFL with 424 yards rushing and six touchdowns. Quarterback Kirk Cousins played his best game, throwing for 260 yards, a touchdown, and most importantly, no turnovers.
All 32 teams are dealing with the same pandemic handicaps—restrictions on OTAs and mini-camps, and a lot of Zoom conferences and no fans at the games. It’s a challenge.
This week, the Vikings travel to Seattle to play the 4-0 Seahawks and the brilliant Russell Wilson, right now the NFL’s MVP with 16 touchdown passes. With no fans, the Vikings at least don’t have to worry about the famous “12th man,” those aggressive fans really can make a difference.
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer finally got career win number 60 Sunday, in his fifth try. The Vikings, by virtue of being a playoff team last year, have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. They will play their fourth game against a 2019 playoff team this week. Good luck.