If you missed Sunday’s Vikings loss in Chicago, don’t worry. There’s a good chance you’ve already seen the game before, as long as you’ve watched any Vikings football since the middle of last season.
The Vikings were 5-3-1 heading into their Week 10 bye last season. Since then, they’ve gone 5-6, and their losses have followed a frighteningly familiar script — one they followed to imperfection Sunday.
In all six losses — five of them night games or late-afternoon starts, including Sunday’s 3:25 kickoff in Chicago — the Vikings were in a hole of at least 10-0 before their first score.
Sometimes the defense has been in an early slumber. Often the offense has been flat and/or flattened by an opposing defense that a porous offensive line couldn’t contain.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins, a common denominator in the poor starts and losses, has looked increasingly discombobulated. He looks particularly skittish against the Bears — another common denominator in that they were the opponent in three of the six losses.
So yeah, if you missed it … I wouldn’t say you’ve been missing it, and you didn’t miss anything you haven’t seen. And I’m afraid there will be other opportunities to see this game again as a predictable season unfolds.
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A key narrative going into this Gophers football season was the depth the team had at running back and how that figured to carry the offense.
But then the Gophers wide receivers started making big play after big play in a nail-biting 3-0 start. And they played a Purdue squad Saturday that couldn’t stop anything through the air.
So: They kept throwing. And they racked up a Big Ten win that was easier than anything from the nonconference season.
Utilizing talent. Making a defense pay.
It’s a lesson that the professional football team in town might be wise to learn at the start of the game instead of when it’s too late, given the talented wide receivers who have been underutilized this season.
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Engulf everyone in bubble wrap. Or hey: Never even leave the house. You can never be too vigilant in the pursuit of safety.
Not really, of course, but that does seem to be what some Twins fans want in the wake of Luis Arraez’s ankle injury Saturday in an utterly meaningless (standingswise) 4-3 Twins victory.
It stinks that the Twins’ excellent Rod Carew clone rookie was hurt (albeit not nearly as badly as initially feared), putting his playoff availability in jeopardy.
The temptation is to scream: WHY WAS HE EVEN PLAYING!?!?
But it was a freak injury in a sport that’s usually safe. After Sunday’s game, the Twins aren’t slated to play again until Friday, so staying relatively sharp is important. Having Arraez play was logical, and his injury was bad luck but not the result of a bad decision.
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The Twins edging out the Yankees 307-306 for the single-season home record doesn’t really matter, but … it kind of does?
Maybe in a sense it’s symbolic of a shift in the relationship between the two teams as they prepare to add to a heretofore lopsided playoff history? It sure looked like New York was going to swoop in and grab the record, right up until the last day.
In a season when everyone was hitting home runs, the Twins hit the most — even more than the big, bad Yankees. And hey, this record might stay in Minnesota a while if MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is serious about making changes to an obviously juiced-up baseball.