DETROIT — I'm the Star Tribune's representative at Ford Field today. We'll provide our usual, in-depth team coverage with Ben Goessling, Andrew Krammer and Mark Craig working virtually, and as always, I recommend picking up the Monday paper to see our outstanding layouts and photos. It's still the best way to read the best Vikings coverage in Minnesota.

I'm watching the Vikings warm up. Ford Field is an underrated stadium. It's empty, as are the streets around the stadium, and the Lions have placed cardboard cutouts behind the goalposts in each end zone.

I'm watching for two things today:

  1. Will the defensive front seven respond to its embarrassment in New Orleans with competence? Anger? Pride? Resignation?
  2. Will Justin Jefferson and the passing offense have a big day against a poor defense? Without Dalvin Cook, a pass-first approach might be in play today, and Kirk Cousins, Jefferson and Adam Thielen have been excellent of late.

This has led to a certain segment of the fan base praising Cousins. Which is fine, in the context of Cousins playing well following the 1-5 start.

But please remember: Cousins was signed, then re-signed, to put the Vikings over the top. They have missed the playoffs in two of his three seasons, and his play in the first six weeks left his team with a narrow and improbable path to the playoffs.

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