The Minnesota Vikings(4-5) may have finally hit their stride. Three straight division opponents and three consecutive wins for the Vikings, including last night’s 19-13 victory over the Bears at Soldier Field.
Before last night’s game, Vikings QB Kirk Cousins was 0-9 on Monday Night Football. However, the nine-year veteran was 25-36 for 292 yards and two touchdowns against Chicago, and for Cousins, it’s all about doing his part.
“You know, for me, it’s all about playing well and doing my part,” Cousins said after the game. “I’ve played long enough to know there is not a lot you can control as a quarterback. The ball is in your hands, but so many things are out of your control. So you just do the best you can, play the best you can, and that’s where my focus always is. When I leave a game and don’t feel like I played my best, that’s where I get frustrated. Then there are games where you may lose, but you felt like you gave a great effort and played at a high level. You always try to self-evaluate and be critical, but look at it with a trained eye.”
Vikings rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who had eight catches for 135 yards on Monday night and tied Randy Moss for the most 100-yard receiving games by a Vikings rookie with four, believes Minnesota is playing with more energy.
“Not having fans in the stadium, we were lacking a lot of energy the first couple of weeks,” Jefferson said. “We found that energy: we found that swagger that we’ve been having. We came out ready to play football. The last three weeks that we’ve been doing, and we’re looking to continue to do it. “
For the Vikings, it’s about getting back into the playoff race, and after starting 1-5 not many thought the playoffs were a possibility. According to their head coach Mike Zimmer, the Vikings are fighting hard.
“You know, they just keep fighting,” Zimmer said. “That’s all we do. We come in there and practice every day. These guys, before the game, we weren’t tight. I could tell in the locker room they weren’t tight. They seemed to go out and practice really hard. They seemed to respond to the — when we are practicing and trying to — one of the things we’ve been emphasizing a lot for the last few weeks is not allowing completions at practice defensively, and I think maybe that’s starting to show up the competition part. It’s three games. We’re fighting our way back into this thing. Hopefully. Still got a lot of football left to play.”
Minnesota appears to be the team that many thought would be at the beginning of the season. Now, it’s time to continue to build on these three victories and make that push for the playoffs.