Kirk Cousins Vapor Untouchable Limited Jerseys

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Kirk Cousins Vapor Untouchable Limited Jerseys

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The Minnesota Vikings suffered a brutal loss to the Green Bay Packers last Monday. What are three silver linings from the stinging defeat?

Against the Green Bay Packers in Week 16, the offense forgot to show up for the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings’ offensive line was especially horrid and gave Kirk Cousins little time to process the field. Kevin Stefanski’s play-calling was also garbage as he failed to remember what the strengths of his offense were.

We saw very few rollouts from Cousins and most of the screen passes were not called until late in the matchup. Maybe it was because the offense was without Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison and down to his third-string back, but Stefanski called a completely different game than he usually does. He also got cute with two third-down calls that included a wide receiver pass and an end-around. Neither play had any success.

It was a tough game for Minnesota to lose, which was made even worse since it came against the hated Packers. Heading into the matchup, the Vikings still had a small shot at the NFC North crown, but that is long gone now after their pathetic offensive performance on Monday night.

There is no way to really sugarcoat it as this was a horrible loss for Minnesota. They should be questioning themselves as they prepare for the Chicago Bears on Sunday and as they get ready for the playoffs in two weeks.

Still, there were actually some positives for the Vikings to take out of their Week 16 loss. So here are three silver linings to take away from Minnesota’s second losing effort to Green Bay this season.

Defense in the first half

The Vikings’ defense was on fire during the first half of the game against the Packers. In the first two quarters of the matchup, Minnesota forced Green Bay to turn the ball over three times. Two of these were fumble recoveries and one was an interception by the red-hot Anthony Harris.

Unfortunately for the Vikings, the offense could only turn those three gifts into 10 points. If the offense was even having just an average night, they get seven on at least two of the turnovers and create momentum that could’ve helped the team put the game away early.

Not only did Minnesota’s defense force turnovers, but they kept Aaron Rodgers in check. Even the Vikings corners, who have been a major sore spot this season, were playing well.

Xavier Rhodes gave up a bunch of catches to Packers receiver Davante Adams, but most were for short gains. The pressure generated up front by Minnesota’s pass rush was good too, as Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen were making Rodgers scamper for his life on numerous occasions.

The problem was that the Vikings’ offense couldn’t sustain a drive. So their defense eventually got worn down as the time of possession was heavily in Green Bay’s favor. This led to some big gains by Packers running back Aaron Jones in the second half which ultimately put the game out of reach.

It was nice to see Minnesota’s defense rise to the occasion on Monday night. They had been the weak link of the team for the better part of the last month and now they seem to be much closer to putting things together.

If the Vikings offense was able to have even a mediocre night instead of a horrible one, the team likely would’ve gotten their 11th win of the season. Hopefully, this is the defense Minnesota brings to the playoffs in a couple of weeks.

Minnesota is still in the playoffs

Yes, the Vikings lost to the hated Packers on Monday night. But truthfully, there was little to gain from winning the game for Minnesota.

The Vikings would’ve still been a longshot to win the division title as they would have needed Green Bay to lose to the hapless Detroit Lions this week. Minnesota could’ve also jumped up to the No. 5 seed in the NFC with a win over the Packers and some help.

For the most part though, the Vikings were going to end up with the No. 6 seed regardless of what happened in their game against Green Bay.

So yes, it sucks to lose to your rival twice in one season, but at the end of the day, the Vikings are still in this year’s playoffs. Minnesota will need to figure out what went wrong with their offense against the Packers because every defense they’ll face in the big dance is very good.

If the Vikings can’t move the ball at home against a team they are very familiar with, doing it on the road against an unfamiliar opponent like the San Francisco 49ers or New Orleans Saints will be extremely difficult.

At least Minnesota can feel good about the way their defense has played the last couple of games as they begin preparing for their postseason push.

Britton Colquitt’s leg

There really weren’t many bright spots for the Vikings in Week 16 against the Packers. Other than some big defensive plays early in the game, there wasn’t much to get excited about when it came to Minnesota’s performance in this one. One of the few good things for the Vikings though was the punting of Britton Colquitt.

Sure, it’s depressing when your punter is one of the lone positives coming out of a huge game with playoff implications, but that is the case this week with Minnesota as Colquitt was absolutely booming the ball on Monday night.

Colquitt kicked the Vikings’ limp offense out of some horrible field position on numerous occasions. He had a whopping eight punts on the night with an average of 47.1 yards per boot. He landed two inside Green Bay’s 20-yard line and he had a long of 56 yards. That’s an impressive night of work.

Colquitt has been a big surprise for Minnesota this season. He was signed after final cuts in early September and with how he’s punted for the team this year, it makes one wonder what the heck the Cleveland Browns were thinking when they released him.

Colquitt has been a bright spot for the Vikings all season long and he is definitely a player the team should look to bring back for 2020.

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