Rand: Freeze fans, no sudden moves

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 3, 2014 - 7:14 AM
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When the Giants and Justin Tuck got a read on Washington’s Kirk Cousins, he became an ordinary backup QB.

Photo: Julio Cortez • Associated Press,

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Three thoughts from the weekend that DON’T relate to the Super Bowl:

• Washington QB Kirk Cousins is reportedly open to being traded, which is about as surprising as someone complaining about the weather this winter. Cousins was drafted in the fourth round the same year Robert Griffin III was chosen in the first round, and the new regime has made it clear RGIII is the future of the franchise (and rightfully so).

If you are the Vikings: Just say no. Repeat: Just say no. Do not make a play for Cousins. He had a couple of flashes of nice play as a rookie in 2012; in 2013, he started the final three games and looked decidedly mediocre. The longer teams had to prepare for him, the worse he played. That’s not a good sign. He’s going to be a career backup, not the answer. No shortcuts here, Minnesota. Just stay away.

• Sometimes in Minnesota we need a good reality check with our teams, and it arrived en masse for three prominent ones recently.

Perhaps we overvalued the Gophers men’s basketball team after a home victory over Wisconsin. After all, it was a team that had shown plenty of flaws previously — problems that resurfaced in losses to Nebraska and Northwestern after the Badgers beating.

Maybe we started to get too optimistic about the Timberwolves when they showed some defensive moxie and finally climbed over .500 last week. They followed that with a deflating home loss to Memphis — a good team, but that was a chance to build momentum — and then watched their defensive shortcomings return in a loss Saturday at Atlanta.

The long view of the Wild’s recent tough five-game stretch (Chicago at home, then a four-game road trip) is that Minnesota came through it in good shape with six points (two wins, two OT losses). The shorter view is they earned just one point in the final two games, giving up nine goals in the process. Their grip on a playoff spot remains tenuous.

• All that said, we have a terrible habit of getting excited about teams when they are just about to crumble and starting to give up on them right when they turn things around.

The Wild has two home games before an Olympic break that could help the squad refocus. The Wolves have five home games in their next seven, followed by a road game at woeful Utah. The Gophers are at Purdue, then home against Indiana in their next two — winnable games, with or without Andre Hollins, who is still recovering from an ankle sprain but will provide a boost when he returns.

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Atlanta - WP: E. Stults 4 FINAL
Detroit - LP: J. Chamberlain 2
Washington - LP: X. Cedeno 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Wacha 6
Philadelphia 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 18
Baltimore 6 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Miami - LP: D. Haren 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: R. Montero 7
San Diego 6 FINAL
Cincinnati 3
San Francisco 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 8
Colorado 2 FINAL
Oakland 11
LA Angels - LP: N. Tropeano 3 FINAL
Seattle - WP: T. Walker 5
Cleveland 4 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
Kansas City 11 FINAL
Texas 7
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Arizona 2
Toronto 7 FINAL
Houston 4
Minnesota - LP: C. Johnson 2 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Masterson 14
Boston 116 FINAL
Charlotte 104
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
Philadelphia 111
Houston 96 FINAL
Toronto 99
Milwaukee 88 FINAL
Atlanta 101
Sacramento 83 FINAL
Memphis 97
Utah 104 FINAL
Minnesota 84
Phoenix 72 4th Qtr 7:51
Portland 101
Tampa Bay 5 FINAL
Montreal 3
Vancouver 4 FINAL
St. Louis 1
Calgary 5 FINAL
Dallas 3
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
Chicago 4
Edmonton 4 FINAL
Colorado 1
Buffalo 0 3rd Prd
Arizona 1
ULM 58 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 65
Dayton 70 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 91
(6) Tennessee 48 FINAL
(4) Maryland 58
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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