MINNEAPOLIS — When the Minnesota Vikings’ offense sputtered on the finish of the half, the purple-wearing contingent inside US Financial institution Stadium booed them off the sector for missing urgency within the half’s closing drive. In a 20-point second-half comeback, the Vikings used an up-tempo method to put on down the Denver Broncos and put up 27 factors.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins struggled within the first half, averaging simply Four.eight yards per try. Denver’s protection pressured Cousins on a handful of performs with simply 4 rushers, together with on a key holding penalty on Riley Reiff that negated a 30-yard throw, a Von Miller sack on third down and a strip sack that resulted in a Broncos subject purpose.
Within the second half the Vikings introduced a special tempo to the sport understanding they must rating on each drive in the event that they had been going to come back away with the largest comeback of the Mike Zimmer period in Minnesota. Cousins and the offense pushed the ball down the sector on an 18-play landing drive after which scored twice extra on large performs — a 54-yard landing to Stefon Diggs and a 32-yard TD to go forward late.
After the win, Cousins talked about his consolation in a two-minute method for your entire second half.
“I’m going again to varsity, every time we had been stalling, Mark Dantonio would say, ‘Hey, simply leap into 2-minute,” Cousins stated. “As a result of many instances, you leap into 2-minute and all of a sudden it simply has a special really feel to it, and the following factor you understand, you’re going.”
The Vikings’ quarterback was hardly ever pressured within the second half regardless of having to play a “drop again sport,” which he has identified a number of instances this yr that the offense desires to keep away from these conditions.
“It labored right this moment. I don’t know if that’s since you run play after play after play with out huddling after which they begin to get slightly winded and now they don’t have the identical get-off as they do within the first half if you’re huddling each play,” Cousins stated.
Cousins completed the second half averaging greater than 10 yards per throw and with 261 of his 319 whole yards.
The Vikings have proven this yr they’re able to entering into shootouts with opposing groups who’re scoring factors towards their protection. They posted 42 factors towards Detroit and beat Dallas regardless of practically 400 yards passing from Dak Prescott final week.
This time round changes had been required on the fly.
“We began drawing stuff up, Kevin [Stefanski] received out a whiteboard for the primary time this yr and began drawing some stuff on the whiteboard, and one in every of them was a giant play to Dalvin [Cook],” Cousins stated. “So once more that’s why I’m saying our coaches did an ideal job of adjusting and saying, ‘All proper, they’re taking this away. However how can we nonetheless run this however current it in a different way to the protection?’”
Zimmer stated that he frolicked this offseason engaged on most of these conditions after seeing his crew wrestle late in video games in 2018.
“This spring we did a presentation on the final 10 minutes of the ball sport,” Zimmer stated. “Final yr within the final 10 minutes, whether or not we had been up or down, we had been Zero-for-Four, Zero-for-5. I imagine it was final week and this week the final 10 minutes of the ball sport that we ended up successful these video games. We practiced it, we’ve been engaged on it, we did it lots within the spring and I believe we did it in coaching camp as effectively.”
Early within the season it was questioned whether or not the Vikings may win and not using a profitable working sport. On Sunday Dalvin Cook dinner gained simply 26 yards.
“He performed nice, he’s performed nice for a very long time now,” Zimmer stated of Cousins’ efficiency.