Heartbreakers: The Story of the Minnesota Vikings 2020 Season

  • Minnesota Vikings
  • NFC
  • NFL
By James Larsen November 24, 2020 1 Comment
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The Vikings lost another heartbreaker on Sunday, this time against the Dallas Cowboys. What’s next for the team’s story-line?

It seems like Minnesota just can’t get over the hump this season. Every time they start finding a rhythm, they fall apart at the last second. To fully grasp the story, we need to back up to the beginning of the year.

The Vikings started the season off flat, losing to the Packers and the Colts. Then, after holding large leads over the Tennessee Titans in week 3, they blew that game in the final minutes.

Later on, they suffered a heartbreaking loss in Seattle, losing that one 27-26 on a last-second touchdown to D.K. Metcalf.

While they put together a few wins after the bye week to improve to 4-5 on the season, this was a must-win for them against Dallas. For the first time this year, they had a chance to hit the .500 mark. Unfortunately, they came up short, once again in the final few minutes of the game.

What Went Wrong This Time?

As in previous losses, the Vikings weren’t able to capitalize in moments that they should have. In week 3, they didn’t stop the Titans and then failed to score on their final drive. Then, in week 5, they didn’t get a 4th down conversion which led to Russell Wilson getting the Seahawks a game-winning TD.

Here in week 11, Minnesota’s defense was unable to make a couple of key stops, and the offense failed to score when they had to. This led to Andy Dalton throwing his third touchdown of the game, to take the lead with 97 seconds left.

Before this TD was scored, Kris Boyd had a chance at an interception and just couldn’t make the play. A few plays earlier, Jeff Gladney gave up a 4th & 6 conversion to Amari Cooper.

On Minnesota’s final drive, Justin Jefferson (who has been absolutely phenomenal) dropped a pass across the middle, which led to the Vikings turning it over on downs. It’s little things like this that ultimately lost Minnesota the game, and it’s been the story of this season.

Positives From the Game

The main reason why this loss hurts so badly is that Minnesota didn’t play a bad game at all. In fact, their offense put up one of the best performances of the year.

Kirk Cousins played fantastically. He is not to blame for this loss. He finished the day 22/30, with 310 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. His final QBR was 140.1, and it was 158.3 during the 4th quarter at one point.

Dalvin Cook once again had a big impact (115 yards rushing, 45 yards receiving), and Adam Thielen was spectacular. He finished the day with 8 catches for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns.

It’s stats like this that make it difficult to watch the Vikings lose. They put together some impressive offensive drives and marched the ball down the field with ease throughout most of the game.

Again, Kirk Cousins played a great game and did enough to get his team a win. The problem is, they just can’t find a way to close things out in the final moments, especially during must-win situations.

Is the Story Over?

With the Minnesota Vikings sitting at 4-6 in a very tight NFC conference, this loss certainly seems like a crushing blow.

However, after starting the season 1-5, it also seemed like the year was over. But, over the last three weeks, the Vikings started to creep back into the playoff race. A win here would put them only a game out of playoff contention.

Unfortunately for Minnesota, they choked. This game, again, was a must-win. They came up short, and now have a much tougher road to make the playoffs. The path was already difficult, and now even more so.

However, they can’t give up hope. With the inconsistent Carolina Panthers coming up next week, the Vikings can still make a playoff push if they can get a big NFC win there. Then, they’ll have to string together a few victories against the Jaguars, Buccaneers, and Bears to just have a chance at the playoffs.

We’ll just have to wait and see how this story unfolds, but at the moment it isn’t looking too good for Minnesota. They need to be more consistent if they want a solid chance.

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Diane Sletten

November 25, 2020

The seasons not over yet but people are writing the Vikings off we have no idea what the rest of the season will bring. There's always hope , so I wish people would have some faith in the Minnesota Vikings

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