It was the first playoff game played in Levi Stadium and it was a great one for the home team. It started off being sorta close. It really seemed like the Niners had some rust to dust off, and the Vikings were holding on to the momentum from their win against the Saints.
After a dramatic and controversial win over the New Orleans Saints, the Minnesota Vikings now head to the Bay Area to take on the NFC West champion San Francisco 49ers who were enjoying a first-round bye.
The last time the 49ers played the Vikings was the first game of the 2018 season, and the Vikings came away with the win, however, you and I both know that the 49ers were a much different team last year. The Niners finished last year with a record of 4-12 and not expected to make any noise this year. Ahh, but they did.
**Disclaimer: This article was written prior to the Vikings/Cowboys game on Sunday Night Football**
In the 2012 NFL draft, the Washington Redskins chose Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick. “RG3” was a dual-threat QB out of Baylor and was pegged to be the team’s franchise leader for years to come. Then in the fourth round of the same draft, Washington made an interesting pick, taking Kirk Cousins, a quarterback out of Michigan State.
Cousins threw for over 9,000 yards with 66 touchdowns against 30 interceptions in his college career. Maybe the Redskins were just covering their bases in case RG3’s style didn’t work well in the NFL. The Cousins pick turned out to be a prudent one. In 2015 after RG3’s three injury-marred seasons, Jay Gruden made Cousins his starting quarterback. Up to that point Cousins was 2-7 in his limited starts. Once installed as the regular starter, Cousins put up solid passing numbers. He completed 67% of his throws amassing over 13,000 yards with 81 touchdowns against 36 interceptions. Despite his numbers, the Redskins managed just a 24-23-1 record and Cousins got the reputation for being unable to win the big games.
It’s been a pretty eventful offseason for the NFC North teams. Free agency has brought some good players into the mix, as my fellow reporter Wanda Wiedman has mentioned. New coaches and coordinators have been hired, and the teams are looking to solidify themselves with a successful draft.
Let’s be honest, it wasn’t a pretty win… but it was my favorite kind of win. It was a win that could have easily gotten away from Seattle. But it didn’t, and now the Seahawks are one win away from clinching a playoff berth. In a year where they weren’t expected to win more than four or five games, they are the team no one wants to face.
Lisa Johnson and I argue about this all the time on the OTFB podcast. Defense or offense, which is more important? But it’s not just a shtick we do for the show. She truly believes offense wins games, I say, quite adamantly, the defense is most important.
What last night’s Monday Night Football game against the Minnesota Vikings showed was that what truly wins games is a balance. What makes the Seahawks so dangerous right now is that balance, and it’s alive and well in Seattle.
Sunday’s Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers game sure lived up to the hype! It was certainly an exciting game, but exciting can mean good and bad. There were a few bits of excitement I could have lived without Sunday.
I might be in the minority here, but I’m okay with the tie. Coming into the game, I knew Minnesota had an overall better team, and I wasn’t sure how effective Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers would be playing with that huge brace on his sprained knee.
Once again, Rodgers proved that as long as his arms are fine, he can play on one leg. He was surprisingly mobile and was able to move when he needed to. I hate to say that we lost this game to the refs and a few questionable calls, but I largely feel like we did. That being said, the defense needs to figure out how Vikings QB Kirk Cousins was able to lead such a comeback, and what we can be done to prevent that the next time we play the Vikings. Continue reading “Packers vs Vikings: Win, Lose or DRAW”→
Last season it was about defenses and backup quarterbacks. It was calm, cool, collectiveness of backup QB Nick Foles who lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a long overdue Super Bowl trophy. All 31 teams were put on notice after that and the QB carousel has been in full swing since the start of free agency.
Just in case some of you have been under a rock, here are the QB changes that have occurred in the past two-weeks of the quarterback matrix.
After a lengthy, but meticulous process, former Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins is now a Minnesota Viking. Washington traded with the Kansas City Chiefs for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a 2018 third-round draft pick, making QB Alex Smith a Washington Redskin. Smith signed a four-year, $94 million extension with Washington, while Cousins signed a three-year $84 million fully guaranteed contract.
For the Bills, finding a franchise quarterback has been as epic a quest as the one for the Holy Grail. Since QB Jim Kellyretired in 1996, eleven different players have been at the position for Buffalo. That means, except for Drew Bledsoe (three seasons) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (four seasons), Bills’ starting QBs have lasted no more than one or two seasons each.
And the quest continues. Despite leading the team to the playoffs for the first time in seventeen years, current QB Tyrod Taylor is no lock to be the starter next season.Many NFL analysts believe the Bills will be looking to replace Taylor either through free agency or the draft.