Skolz(os): Vikes Win vs Jets. MPLS Miracle Rematch.

Winning feels great, doesn’t it? Especially when you are on a three-game tear. But, what feels better than three in a row?

Four in a row.

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Everything was going against the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday versus the New York Jets. We struggled with being on the road, the wind, and injuries. Oh, and yes, we struggled with field goal kicking once again. But, the Vikings battled through adversity and won a game that they should have won. It was a business trip and they closed the deal. We as fans should be proud of our men.

Moreover, the Vikings still need to play better, as we have not hit our fullest potential on both sides of the ball yet.

On to primetime against the New Orleans Saints.

There has been a quiet rivalry brewing in the NFL, going unnoticed since the classic 2009 NFC Championship game. In the upcoming matchup, the Saints will be looking for revenge, and the Vikings are looking to prove last year’s playoff win was not a fluke.

Revenge is more fearful than trying to prove oneself.

The Vikings have many variables going against them such as injuries, a mediocre offensive line, and backups having to step up on defense. The New Orleans Saints are an offensive juggernaut and can be scary on defense. But, the Vikes have two variables that can aid them to victory. Yes, his name is Kirk Cousins. This is his next big chance to show us that he can win the big game for the Vikings. The next variable is home field advantage. The Saints cannot come in and push The Purple around at home. Look for the fans to make a big difference on Sunday.

The Narrative.

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We can talk about our defense and what they can overcome by playing lights out, but the probability of that happening is 35/65. This game will be all about offense. If Latavius Murray runs for a minimum of 100 yards, we have a high probability of winning. Luckily, he is on a roll. Since his running game is based on momentum, look for a big primetime game from him.

Thielen is hot, and Stefon Diggs has historically had bigtime games on Sunday Night Football. It is just a matter of putting the ball in their hands. So, show us the money, Kirk! This is what the front office is paying him for, and historically he has been mediocre on primetime games. But, that was with a mediocre Washington team. Hopefully, it will be a different story with the Minnesota Vikings.

So, what is the narrative in which the NFL wants for Sunday’s showdown?

The New Orleans Saints look for revenge as the Vikings try to prove that their win last year in the playoffs wasn’t a miracle. There is a new sheriff in town named Kirk Cousins, ready to gun sling, shot for shot with an outlaw named Drew Brees. Will the Vikings prevent an old western train robbery?

The NFL wants a shootout, and that is what it will be. There will be many flags thrown on both defensive teams, and the game will be determined by special teams and how well their quarterback plays.

Lastly, this will be Adam Thielen’s breakout game on national TV, but do not count out Stefon Diggs to have 100 yards either.

Prediction.

Vikes 42 – Saints 35

Boom. Boom. SKOL.

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation to either of these links:

 

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Skolz(os): Vikes Win against Arizona, Thoughts on the Battle in the Big Apple vs. the NY Jets.

Dalvin Cook last year, and now Mike Hughes this year. It’s as if the Minnesota Vikings cannot have nice things such as young affordable star draft picks, or nice shiny toys in general unless we go out and pay 87 million dollars for them. How many more first-round draft picks need to continue to be injury ridden like this?

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Let’s wish Hughes a healthy recovery and monster return.

Teddy Bridgewater could have been starting against us in this up and coming game against the Big Apple Jets. If the New York Giants would have selected Sam Darnold, then the complexion of this matchup would have been epic. But, I like the field general that we have right now, Kirk Cousins. But first, here are my quick thoughts on the win against the Arizona Cardinals.

Josh Rosen will be a star in this league. If he had any offensive weapons and a the slightest of a better offensive line, this game would have been a different story. Rosen is going to be the best quarterback out of all of the QB prospects in this past year’s draft. He just so happened to go to the team with the least amount of talent. Once the Cardinals build around him, Arizona will be back in business.

Here is a quick question. Why won’t Larry Fitzgerald come to Minnesota and finish his career here? Wouldn’t that be amazing? Please be a Viking.

Getting back on track here.

This game could have been played against Sam Bradford. What another grand NFL narrative that could have taken place. “The Minnesota Vikings will be facing two of their former starting quarterbacks in back to back weeks,” says Colin Cowherd. He never said that because due to the chain of events that have happened it did not lead to this, but try to imagine every NFL analyst saying this to hype up a historic two weeks in NFL history.

There have been several quarterbacks who have switched teams and have gone playing indoors to outdoors. But, not so many have done the opposite.
Cousins has shown us that he doesn’t play as well at US Bank Stadium indoors as he does on the road outside. It would be fascinating to see how many starting quarterbacks who have played predominately outdoors, who have moved to another team playing indoors have done statistically. The only one that comes to mind was Brett Favre when he played for the Vikings in 2009. Even he took a few games to adjust, and I am hoping for the same with Cousins.

Overall, I am happy about this win. It was an excellent game to take care of business, spark the confidence of the run game, and to see what kind of depth that we have on defense.

The Big Apple versus The Minnie Apple.

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Last week was a week to see our depth at safety, and now this week our week will be a test of our depth at cornerback with the ACL tear of Mike Hughes, putting him on IR.

The Vikings need to continue building their confidence in the run game from last week, and most importantly we need to take advantage of Sam Darnold’s tendency to throw interceptions. Look for our defense to force some interceptions, and hopefully a pick six. This will all start with our pass rush, led by Danielle Hunter, forcing bad throws to the outside. If we can take advantage of their week offensive line, it would be great to see a pick six and a forced fumble on the road, which would take a lot of pressure off of the Vikings Offense.

Look for a big game from Kirk Cousins. As mentioned before, he has been great while playing outdoors. He will throw for 300 plus yards, with a third of those going to Adam Thielen. With that, Diggs will havea massive game-breaking play. MetLife Stadium is a field that he is familiar with, being a vast leadership factor that he brings to the table this weekend.

Vikings 31 – Jets 17.

Boom. Boom. SKOL.

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation to either of these links:

 

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Skolz(os): Analysis on The Vikes Win Against Philly. On to Arizona.

Listening to NFL analysts, it’s never about how the Vikings won. It’s always about how the other team lost and what is wrong with them. Well, the Vikings won so here are my thoughts.
First things first, our defense seems to be getting on the right track and our running game is coming along with the right play calling. This was John Defilippo’s best day of play calling for this season. He needs to keep this up, further continuing to improve the run game for the Vikes.
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Linval Joseph’s touchdown will be the play that turns our season completely around. His defensive effort will uplift the morale of not only our defense but the whole team. This was the big play that our team needed, and it will propel us with the confidence we need to take care of business for the remainder of the year.
But, our victory against the Eagles is in the past and we have to focus on our next game against Arizona. We cannot let them come into our house with a rookie quarterback and push us around. The Vikings need a huge defensive win, only allowing less than 10 points.
What happened against Buffalo cannot happen again this weekend.
Last,
We need to run all over this Arizona defense. As I have mentioned previously, if we can rush for 200 yards between Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook, we will be able to win every game for the remainder of this season.
This Vikings team needs a blowout win in order to soar with confidence for the next phase of the season.
Vikings 35 – Cardinals 7.

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation to either of these links:

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Skolz(os): Thoughts on Vikings Loss to the Rams. Next up, Philly Philly.

Offense, Offense, Offense. For the Vikings to be better than last season, which we still can be, we need to win out and run the table. If we go 13-2-1, we will technically improve upon from last season. This team has the potential to become the up and coming premiere passing team in the league.

Here are my thoughts on last Thursday’s offensive shootout between The Mighty Vikes and The Hollywood Rams.

Our receiving core will continue to progress, and with zero run game, aerial attack will be the main staple of the offense. As I said in my last article giving my analysis about the upcoming game, our offense needs to rush for at least 200 yards a game for us to win. Well, 100 yards would be a good start. Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray have to find other ways to be useful such as blocking, screen passes, and punching the ball down the field for one or two yards. The Vikings are failing to realize that Dalvin Cook is bitten with the injury bug. Getting hurt like that as a rookie does not help a career. Look at how mediocre Deshaun Watson is with the Houston Texans.

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Dear Mr. Cousins, step up in the pocket and get rid of the ball. Please eliminate all of these fumbles. 

Make Latavius Murray our number one running back. He used to be a star with Oakland, so let him be a star here. Let him run the ball, and make Cook a passing option until he can figure out in his head how to be a great tailback again.

With that, our offensive line needs to create bigger holes for our running backs. Did you see how big the holes the Rams O-line made for Todd Gurley?

With the way the NFL has changed the game, don’t expect for the Vikings to win games with their defense anymore. For us to be competitive, we need to change our mindset to be an offensive team. The emergence of our offense has confused our identity, and with the struggling start to the season we’ve had this is the change we need.

Defensively, ever since the NFC Championship game last year (2017) we have been playing as if a ghost has haunted us. Doug Pederson exposed us last year, and the rest of the league has used that game as a blueprint to crush our defense.

With the unfortunate loss of Everson Griffin, we have lost an emotional leader in the locker room. Danielle Hunter needs to step up in a leadership role this season. Last, why is Anthony bar so damn slow? Since 2016, he has now shown us that he will have a good year (2015), then a bad year (2016), then another great year (2017), then another mediocre season (2018 thus far).

Barr got picked on by Cooper Kupp and Jared Goff all night last Thursday, like a skinny snot-nosed nerd on the playground in front of his hometown in LA. To be put simply, Barr is not playing with any pride and has become complacent, which is the best word to describe our defensive play.Image result for anthony barr cooper kupp

Last, Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo need to step up and make their tackles. Look to see George Iloka more in the mix. He has been a starter his whole career, and he is the player with that type of hunger in which we need on the field.

Let’s go bird hunting on Sunday. Fly Eagles, crash and burn. This is America’s game of the week on Fox and the most pivotal point in our season. No team has gone 1-3-1 to start the season and has made the playoffs. No team. Let me repeat, no team.

Stefon Diggs has historically had big games under big stages on National television. Look to see him do the same this Sunday.

If and when the Vikings avenge their NFC Championship game from last year, looking at the remainder of their schedule, they will run the table and win the rest of their games. I am calling it. But, that is if and only if they beat the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Moreover, play with an offensive mindset. When we run the ball, two yards are better than none. Defense, figure it out.

Vikings 28- Eagles 21.

Boom. Boom. SKOL.

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation to either of these links:

Venmo or Patreon

Skolz(os): The Vikings lost to Buffalo? On to the Hollywood Rams.

The Vikings lost to the Buffalo Bills. There isn’t anything to discuss. But, as much as I love the Vikings, the National Football League is rigged to make significant money, increase ratings, and gather more interest. It is all fixed, trust me, and believe me. The worst part is, the Vikings are always a team where the NFL fixes against.

The NFL wants all of the first round QB rookies to start this year. When a rookie starts and does well, the NFL rakes in the moolah.

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Josh Allen made our defense look like a rookie defense. 

Here is a quick rundown of the proof. Sam Darnold starts right away for the Jets. Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs makes grown men look like toddlers. Baker Mayfield comes in and leads the Browns to victory on Thursday Night Football, to make a grand narrative, against Sam Darnold and the Jets. Tyrod Taylor wasn’t hurt. It was all fixed so that the NFL could have that narrative. Now Baker “Money Maker” is named the starter for Cleveland. We also have Lamar Jackson giving Joe Flacco a run for his money. When was the last time that we saw Flacco play this well? He was in auto-pilot for the previous three years. Oh, and yes. Josh Rosen is starting over Sam Bradford in Arizona. What else happened in the last ten days of the football season? Well, the NFL went out and fixed another narrative, and it had to be against the Vikings once again.

What was that narrative?

Buffalo Bills quarterback, Josh Allen, made the Minnesota Vikings look like the Bad News Bears. Yes, he made the Vikes look so bad that it seemed the Vikings weren’t even playing the right sport last Sunday.

How often does Anthony Barr look foolish out on the field?

Imagine the sound of me crumpling up a piece of paper and throwing it away.

On to LA to face another young star quarterback, Jared Goff.

It is time for Thursday Night Football. A night in the City of Angels, where our “Mighty” Vikings will take on the Hollywood Rams, an A-list roster filled with stars.

The Vikings have a significant weight on their shoulders. With Philadelphia coming up the following week, we cannot afford to lose this game against LA. With that, anything can happen on short weeks when it comes to TNF. It will be a spooky night in Tinseltown.

Don’t count the Vikings out yet, because here are my thoughts on what needs to happen for the Vikes to win.

Throw, Kirk, throw. Catch that ball, Adam! Score that touchdown, Dalvin. No, it more should go like: “BLOCK FOR THE QUARTERBACK – MAKE HOLES FOR THE RUNNING BACK!”.

If we want to talk Super Bowl or even a win against The Hollywood Rams, the offensive line has to start looking more like, well, a line.

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Dalvin, you need to cook something up. If we don’t rush for a total of 200 yards on the ground against the Rams, well then we won’t have a chance to win. Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray will be the offense’s key to winning the Super Bowl. If they can rush for 200 yards a game, then we will win every game, despite having a mediocre line.

Oh, and dont’chya know. Everson Griffen is having some off-field issues, and he probably won’t play. Our defensive line looked atrocious without him, and it seems like he won’t be playing anytime soon. So Danielle, you better make that money. It’s your time to shine, baby.

Sack that pretty boy Hollywood quarterback.

Overall, the key to this game defensively is to have our corners and safety’s shut down LA’s pass game. Even without Griffen, I’d still take our chances facing Todd Gurley head-on. It is a big game for Dalvin Cook. The running back is making his TNF debut in Hollywood with an opportunity to show up Todd Gurley. If he does so, he will make a name for himself on a big stage. This would put the Vikes back on the map.

Vikings 27 – Rams 24 with a Dan Bailey field goal to win.

Wouldn’t that be a fantastical Hollywood Blockbuster narrative?

BOOM. BOOM. SKOL.

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation to either of these links:

Venmo or Patreon

Skolz(os): MN vs GB, and Thoughts on Buffalo.

It’s not fair that Aaron Rodgers plays for the Packers, a team I have despised since I was a young lad. Couldn’t he play in the AFC for the Buffalo Bills? Why can’t we have him on our team? Oh, wait. We now have a great QB, and his name is Kirk Cousins. Our Messiah.

Cousins is only getting started.

Here are my thoughts about the Vikings border battle tie with the Packers.

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A prior predictions pre-season of mine was Daniel Carlson, our newly drafted kicker, was going to be a bust. I knew this because I didn’t think a 20 some year old kid was going to be able to withstand the animosities of NFL game pressure to kick ourselves to the Super Bowl with four seconds left. Maybe this tie was a blessing for us to find the missing piece to the puzzle, which is now Dan Bailey. Gary Anderson started our lack of confidence in our kicking game in 1998, and hopefully, Dan Bailey will be the answer to this kicking curse that we have along with Kirk Cousins being the solution to our historical quarterback carousel.

Lambeau Field is hostile, and Aaron Rodgers is no easy task even with one leg. He could play with a blindfold and still keep his team in the game to win. It doesn’t matter how much better the Vikings are, every game against Green Bay is never a given. Playing The Packers at Lambeau can cause players like Laquon Treadwell, with poor mental toughness, to drop balls and disrupt the team’s momentum on the road.

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Why didn’t we draft Michael Thomas?

When I was in high school, we played a hockey team who had always been a state title contender in the middle of the season. They were ranked third in the state, and we were ranked number two. Both of us were bound to play in the State Tournament, and this game was going to affect the seedings. Despite outshooting them 45-20 and outplaying them, we tied. It was the worst feeling ever, just like this Sunday’s loss – I mean tie to the Packers. My coach said he walked by their locker room after the game, saying they were celebrating as if they had won the World Series. With that tied up tang in our mouths, we went out and won every game for the rest of that season and became State Champions. As for the other team, they lost a majority of the rest of their games that year and fizzled away.

The Minnesota Vikings must come out of this tie STRONGER than Green Bay. We have a better team, and we need to stop making tiny mistakes, like getting our punts blocked.

On to Buffalo.

We need to blow these guys out as soon as possible. Then we can give our starters rest before we play The Los Angeles Rams on the road on Thursday Night Football, a team that we can beat because anything can happen on Thursday. Seriously, we need to go 3-0-1 to start the year if we are going to avenge that tie.

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Could Cousins be our savior after 30 plus years of different quarterbacks?

Wouldn’t that send the league a message, now?

The Vikings need to play other receivers against the Bills because we need to figure out who our number three option will be to create a three-headed monster receiving core.

Please spread out the run game between Cook and Murray. Tay Train was a superstar in Oakland, and Cook is playing so tentatively on his ground game. Use one for the air and one for the ground – mix and match, destroy, then repeat.

Last, the defense needs to tighten up tackles, and special teams need to be flawless.

My prediction:

Vikings 35 Bills 10

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation to either of these links:

Venmo or Patreon

Skolz(os): Thoughts on MN Vikings win vs. 49ers, and Upcoming Battle with The Packers.

After five days of watching highlights, listening to pro football analysts, and coming up with my own opinions about the Minnesota Vikings week one performance against the 49ers: here are my thoughts for you to indulge. I hope you enjoy them.

Beating the San Fransisco 49ers was a good week one win. If Kirk Cousins were to throw for 400 yards and three touchdowns, we would expect that from him every week and anything less would be a disappointment. Cousins is comfortable playing within himself, buying into the culture that Mike Zimmer has created. It is good to see the defense and offense make mistakes this early in the season, meaning that we have room to improve. If the Vikings came out and blew out the Niners this week, we would all be feeling sky high like Baltimore Ravens fans right now, when the reality is that they set the bar high for their hopes for the season. The fact is with that type of pandemonium in your belly from a week one blowout, the expectation and let down will hit you hard. The Ravens struggled against the Bengals as we saw them lose on Thursday Night Football. This was a good week one win for Mike Zimmer and the Minnesota Vikings. Now, on to Lambeau.

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Here are some quick notes:

Be patient with the offensive line and Dalvin Cook. The Vikings’ O-line is like a game of Tetris right now because they are trying to find the right fit to protect Cousins. On another note, Dalvin Cook will get better from the line of scrimmage as our line becomes more of a synergized moving wall.

The Vikes need to use Latavius Murray more to give Cook rest. They cannot overuse Dalvin Cook due to his injury from last year, and because of the talent that Murray brings to the table. The NFL is a two running back league, and we need to use Latavius Murray in the situations that we are paying him for.

As mentioned before, Kirk Cousins played within himself, and we need to accept that. We don’t need him to do what he did in Washington every Sunday. He was under a lot of pressure to throw 4,000 yards a year for Washington because of how incomplete his roster was, and he only had one good offensive coordinator during his tenure. As long as we keep the chains moving, do not fumble, and throw interceptions, we will continue to win. Right now, Cousins needs to establish his leadership role before he becomes the messiah that we make him out to be.

Not everything will happen overnight with our big time QB investment.

Next, the Vikes need to eliminate minor defensive mistakes. There were blown coverages, and a few missed tackles but that will correct itself over time, and we will see this against the Packers. Sheldon Richardson is quite the pleasant surprise, and it will be nice to see what he brings to the table because there is a new cohesiveness with the defensive line that is blooming slowly beneath our eyes. It will be exciting to see how this will blossom over the season.

Treadwell needs to play better. The first round draft pick needs to become a primary third down and red zone threat. I’d love to see Thielen, Diggs, and Treadwell all obtain each a thousand receiving yards within the next few years. So, why not make it happen this year?

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My thoughts about the next matchup against Green Bay.

Aaron Rodgers is in jeopardy with his health, career, and folklore. Despite how severe or minor his injury is, his ego is getting in the way of him doing what is right for himself and the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers has a strong vengeance to win against the Vikings due to the Anthony Barr incident last year. This may be a huge mistake for him to play. If Green Bay were to play Miami last week, he wouldn’t have come out and played in the second half. Since they are playing another divisional game against the Vikings, he will play no matter what.

Mike Huges and Jayron Kearse will be a big factor because Rodgers will be throwing quick, early, and often. Since Hughes will be lined up on the outside and Kearse will be playing nickel corner, they will be defending short passes more often. But who knows, this may not be part of our defensive game plan. They can create a significant impact on the game if they can make some plays. These are my picks for our X-factors on defense.

Diggs needs a breakout money making game. Show us what you’re worth.

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Cousins needs to protect the football, throw downfield, and take advantage of the inexperienced young defensive back core that Green Bay has. WHEN the Vikes win on Sunday, it will be the biggest win of Cousins career on a big stage game. He has never proven that he can win a big game dating back to college, and this is the start that he needs for the Vikings to make it to the promise land this year.

Win this game, and build momentum.

The Vikes need to make a statement to the NFC North and Packer fans. I would love to hear Packer fans silenced. In fact, I want Rodgers to be 100% healthy, so there is no excuse towards why they lost. After hearing analysts express their preseason concerns about the strength of the Vikings’ schedule, new coordinator, new quarterback, and the difficulty of our first six games, the Vikings need to come out and make a statement on Sunday.

My prediction:

Vikings 28 – Packers 17.

Remember,

“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation to either of these links:

Venmo or Patreon