The Vikings started the game with an uninspiring three-and-out on offense. They ended the game with an amazing TD effort by Stefon Diggs and a last second field goal by Blair Walsh to give the Vikings the 23-20 win, moving them to 5-2 on the season.
Let’s break it down.
- The Vikings held the Bears to a field goal on their first offensive drive.
- Danielle Hunter sacked Cutler to end the Bears’ 2nd offensive drive. The Bears were forced to punt… and Marcus Sherels was forced to bring the punt return to the end zone. Oh darn!
- The Bears’ 3rd offensive drive ended in another punt. The Vikings defense initially let Forte rack up 14 yards rushing, but they adjusted and stuffed the Bears, forcing them to punt.
- Blair Walsh was successful in the 2nd quarter, kicking a field goal at the end of the Vikings’ 3rd offensive drive.
- The Vikings’ focus on tackling fundamentals since the early games of the season has resulted in the defense being ranked #1 for fewest missed tackles. It just shows how important having a strong base skill like tackling can be when a team is trying to win.
- Walsh hit a 48 yard field goal on the tough side of the field to tie up the game at the start of the 4th quarter.
- Stefon Diggs had an amazing catch & run for a TD near the end of the 4th quarter.
- Walsh hit a 36 yard field goal in the waning seconds of the 4th quarter to secure the win for the Vikings. And while the Vikings won on the road in the division, there were plenty of things that didn’t go right…
- The Vikings 2nd offensive drive went absolutely nowhere, despite some decent o-line work, giving Teddy time to throw. But if your receivers aren’t getting open, there’s nowhere to throw and the drive stalls.
- The Vikings’ 3rd offensive drive ended in a field goal. The offense was moving well until they got inside the 30 yard line of the Bears; at that point, they collapsed and had to rely on Walsh for the field goal.
- The Vikings’ 4th offensive drive resulted in a punt. It was anemic, full of short runs and few throwing attempts. I can honestly say it had me wondering what Norv Turner was doing with his game plan.
- Chicago started the 2nd half with a fairly easy march down the field. They weren’t able to convert the drive for a TD, but they did kick a field goal. Chicago seemed to make some half-time adjustments that left the Vikings’ defense scrambling as they worked to readjust.
- The Vikings completely wasted their 1st offensive drive of the 2nd half. Peterson didn’t fumble, but he needs to start securing that ball when he’s being tackled. Teddy completely overthrew Mike Wallace with a shot to the end zone. The net result was that the Vikings added no points to their 3 point deficit. That’s no way to win the game.
- The Vikings began melting down on both sides of the ball as the game entered the 4th quarter. The Vikings remain a team that struggles to play all 60 minutes. I have to ask… what is Zimmer doing to fix that?
- Teddy threw a late INT at the end of the 2nd quarter, giving the Bears 60 seconds to do something with. And what, exactly, did the Bears do? They scored a TD, allowing the Bears to tie the game. It’s notable that at this point in the game, the Vikings had scored only 3 points on offense. Their only TD was from a punt return.
- The Vikings offensive game plan. Norv Turner is CLEARLY not an offensive mastermind. Anyone who keeps spewing that lie about him obviously knows nothing about football. To date during his tenure as offensive coordinator, we have yet to see a cogent game plan that highlights the strengths of the Vikings’ offense. Couple that with the fact that Turner seems completely unable to adjust anything during the game, and you have a recipe for repeatedly anemic offensive drives. Last week, Blair Walsh kicked 5 field goals. This week, Blair Walsh field goals were the only offensive points scored until the very end of the 4th quarter, when Diggs had a spectacular catch and then found his way to the end zone. That effort though was all Diggs. At the end of the day, a field goal did win the game, but if the Vikings are going to compete in the division with that horrible team which shall remain nameless, scoring drives must end in TDs – not field goals.
So that’s week eight of the 2015 season. The Vikings are a good team. They could be so much better and every week, I wait and watch to see if this week will be the week in which everything coalesces and the Vikings take charge of their games from start to finish.
How are you feeling about the season? Vote below or leave me a comment. Until next week….