NFC North Reporter
In the first 10 weeks of the season, the Minnesota Vikings posted an 8-1 record, beating one of the most complete teams in the franchise’s recent memory. Armed with a fresh new regime suited to Viking manpower and some schedule breaks, the voyage in the Nordic seas seemed smooth sailing.
Until they stumble upon the Dallas Cowboys team that (literally) proves it all.
The Vikings took a complete blow at home, losing to the Cowboys 40-3 in the biggest road win in Dallas history. Not only that, but the Cowboys have revealed what seems to be his one obvious weakness for Minnesota: a lack of depth.
The most notable example was when the Vikings left a tackle in the first half, Christian Dalisault, who was sent off with a head injury. Daliso appeared in the game as follows. PFF finest lineman This season, the overall result was 89.8. Even from an outstanding rookie show, it was a huge step forward when he posted an overall offensive grade of 71.9 in 2021. In fact, Dalisault allowed no sacks all season. He gave up only his three hits, seven rushes, and ten total pressures. He was also above his grade 90 run-blocking for three straight games.
However, the no-sack streak changed in this game when Dalisaw allowed one of quarterback Kirk Cousins’ seven takedowns at the hands of the Cowboys.
It also raised the question of whether Dalisault should have played. A left tackle was limited in practice last week due to a concussion. He held up perfectly on Wednesday and progressed from there, clearing protocol before Sunday’s matchup. The availability of was much to Viking relief.
Dallas pass rusher Micah Parsons beat Dalisaw to Cousins on the first sack of the day. His second for Parsons was to defeat Darisault’s replacement, Blake Blundell. Blundell also came after being called for a false start.
Blundell was never combat tested. The lines fell apart almost completely for the rest of the game. Minnesota’s backup doesn’t help that he has two of his linemen injured, and the Vikings don’t have many options, especially quality ones.
And now, according to head coach Kevin O’Connell, they’re without Daliso for Thursday’s matchup against the New England Patriots.
“He’s one of the best players with a long-term future here,” O’Connell said after the game.
But Minnesota took for granted Dalisault’s ability to step in quickly as a rookie. The Vikings had no idea that a first-year player would soon be a good left tackle for a passer like Cousins, who relies heavily on clean pockets. It didn’t make them feel any urgency when it came to making sure they could weather the stormy seas ahead or elsewhere.
On defense, cornerback Cam Dantzler is on the injured list. Defensively his lineman Darvin Tomlinson was sidelined with a calf injury. Cornerback Akeleb Evans was sidelined with a concussion. Their best pass rusher, Zadarius Smith, was playing with a knee injury. As a result, Dallas’ passing game flourished. Cowboys quarterback Duck His Prescott finished for 276 yards and two touchdowns as he completed 22 of 25 pass attempts, his second-highest percentage of his career. was recorded. His passer rating was him 139.3. He didn’t take the bag.
“I thought Duck did a great job,” O’Connell said. “We’ve got to find a way to put a little more pressure on. Try to tighten the back end.”
On the one hand, the problem is easy to identify. However, fixing something as whimsical as health might not be.
“Every week in this league is another opportunity to really prove who you are as a football team,” O’Connell said. “I don’t think we did that tonight. I don’t think we gave ourselves the chance to compete. We had to get a lot done in a short week and I really don’t know how else.” and. ”
No team has made it to the end of the season without facing a few storms. After all, that’s what the game is all about. But the question now is whether the Depthless Vikings can survive the storms on the horizon.
Carmen Vitali covers NFC North for FOX Sports. Carmen previously played for Draft Network and Tampa Bay He was with the Buccaneers. She spent her six her seasons with the Bucks, and in 2020 the title of Super Bowl her champion (and boat her parade participant) was added to her resume. You can follow Carmen on her Twitter. @CarmieV.
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