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Heimdallr

The 2018 Kirk Cousins Megathread

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4 hours ago, Cearbhall said:

Not taking a knee before halftime didn't work out great either. That fumble allowed the Falcons to score before halftime.

That's pretty much what I'm getting at.

You can't live in the past and be afraid to make a mistake because you made one previously. The 1998 Vikings had the most dominate offense ever (at that time). They let a previous mistake scare them into not being them. They played trying not to lose rather than trying to win.

On Sunday, the Vikings made a mistake that cost them and I think they let that mistake influence them more than it should have. Now, I'm not saying it was a lock to get a field goal but even some half-butted attempt to move the ball and get that bad taste out of your mouth before halftime may have been better than running into half with their tail in between their legs. The entire offense just looked defeated until the middle of the 4th.

As for the time management....I don't get how it's so bad. Even during that drive in the 4th when Thielen scored, they're taking 30 seconds off the clock to run a play when they should be in no huddle. Even Al Michaels was wondering what the heck was going on. And it's been going on Zimmer entire tenure. I don't know what it is. And it's not just Zimmer. Kirk is veteran enough to know how to run a hurry up offense. I get it that it would have taken a MIRACLE to win that game but lets go. Get to the line and snap the ball.

Is there such thing as a "Clock Management Specialist" that they can employ to stand next to Zimmer and tell him when to call timeouts with under 4:00 left in a half?

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22 hours ago, Vikes_Bolts1228 said:

Is there such thing as a "Clock Management Specialist" that they can employ to stand next to Zimmer and tell him when to call timeouts with under 4:00 left in a half?

I believe McVay employs something like that with the Rams.

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2 hours ago, swede700 said:

Oh, my word...the dorkness is strong with this one.

WE WERE WARNED ABOUT WHAT WE WERE GETTING!!!  (Thank you VirginiaViking and so many others)

Safe to say you're not expecting a repeat of the 2005 season bye week...?

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Spielman:  “I think Kirk not only has done extremely well in how he’s performed, especially when he’s been getting pressured in the pocket, but you see some of the throws that he makes in games, those are some throws that are unique. There’s not a lot of people who can make those type of throws. But it’s also how he’s developed into a leader of this football team, I know I’ve sat in a couple quarterback meetings where they’re sitting in there going over the game, and just sitting there listening to him talk, and being critical of himself and how he can improve. He’s always looking to try and get better. It’s pretty fascinating to sit there and listen to him sitting there breaking down game tape, and how important this is to him.”

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/11/06/vikings-g-m-dubs-kirk-cousins-phenomenal/

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I was watching a PFF youtube video about Cousins and they showed our OL grading so far this season according to PFF -

Overall Pass Blocking Grade - 31st in the league

Pass Block Efficiency - 28th in the league

Total Pressures Allowed - 32nd in the league (number of pressures per pass attempt would be a better statistic but nevertheless even this is pretty alarming)

This video was put up before the Lions game..so these above stats are for our first 8 games of the season. None of the contenders have a bad O-Line like us. It's going to be  our biggest weakness in playoffs (if we reach)

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On 11/1/2018 at 3:38 PM, Vikes_Bolts1228 said:

That's pretty much what I'm getting at.

You can't live in the past and be afraid to make a mistake because you made one previously. The 1998 Vikings had the most dominate offense ever (at that time). They let a previous mistake scare them into not being them. They played trying not to lose rather than trying to win.

On Sunday, the Vikings made a mistake that cost them and I think they let that mistake influence them more than it should have. Now, I'm not saying it was a lock to get a field goal but even some half-butted attempt to move the ball and get that bad taste out of your mouth before halftime may have been better than running into half with their tail in between their legs. The entire offense just looked defeated until the middle of the 4th.

As for the time management....I don't get how it's so bad. Even during that drive in the 4th when Thielen scored, they're taking 30 seconds off the clock to run a play when they should be in no huddle. Even Al Michaels was wondering what the heck was going on. And it's been going on Zimmer entire tenure. I don't know what it is. And it's not just Zimmer. Kirk is veteran enough to know how to run a hurry up offense. I get it that it would have taken a MIRACLE to win that game but lets go. Get to the line and snap the ball.

Is there such thing as a "Clock Management Specialist" that they can employ to stand next to Zimmer and tell him when to call timeouts with under 4:00 left in a half?

I don't get it either, VB. Everything I know about Mike Zimmer tells me he should be stronger than that, more aware, coaching with greater urgency, getting the players ready to tear our opponents to shreds every week--or at least try to. I want to see some goddamn fire out of this guy, not all the time but at the times when the players are falling into the kind of mental rut that has always held back our franchise and need to be snapped out of it. What happened to the Zim of 2015, who boiled over and cursed a blue streak when one of the St. Louis Rams went headhunting on Bridgewater? It's like the bad mojo has gotten to him, too.

The sad truth is that this team is still being held back by something that isn't real. There's no such thing as a curse; the only way it can possibly affect you is if you help it along. Believe in it, acknowledge it even a little bit, and you're as good as defeated--if not now, then somewhere down the road. Once you buy into the idea that your destiny is somehow out of your hands, you're playing a head game with yourself that you can't possibly win, and that's as debilitating as any injury or personal issue.

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2 hours ago, y*so*blu said:

I don't get it either, VB. Everything I know about Mike Zimmer tells me he should be stronger than that, more aware, coaching with greater urgency, getting the players ready to tear our opponents to shreds every week--or at least try to. I want to see some goddamn fire out of this guy, not all the time but at the times when the players are falling into the kind of mental rut that has always held back our franchise and need to be snapped out of it. What happened to the Zim of 2015, who boiled over and cursed a blue streak when one of the St. Louis Rams went headhunting on Bridgewater? It's like the bad mojo has gotten to him, too.

The sad truth is that this team is still being held back by something that isn't real. There's no such thing as a curse; the only way it can possibly affect you is if you help it along. Believe in it, acknowledge it even a little bit, and you're as good as defeated--if not now, then somewhere down the road. Once you buy into the idea that your destiny is somehow out of your hands, you're playing a head game with yourself that you can't possibly win, and that's as debilitating as any injury or personal issue.

I agree.

I thought Zimmer would be the guy to give zero damns and be the guy who would step on the throats of opponents and bring swagger to the entire team. You know....not be a bunch of goons but no prevent offense/defense in the 3rd/4th quarter. It's something we haven't had since what? 1998? We'd get up by 10 and instead of saying "OK, let's grind out the clock" we'd say "OK, let's go up by 17. Then 24. Then 31."

 But it still seems that we act like scared puppies when something goes wrong like it's an ingrained "We're the Vikings....here we go again......" mentality. I really thought a hard nosed, old school coach like Zimmer would have the "We turned the ball over. Bad luck. Now let's get up and punch them right back in the face." Instead, we dance around the ring until the next round afraid to get punched again.

 

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This is a common talking point among Vikings fans, and the media (Coller and Zulgad went to the well on this point over and over during the off season), but there's really no basis for it. 

We'd all like to see the Vikings boatrace teams and win blowouts going away, but there's no actual advantage to doing that compared to just choking the life out of the game and winning comfortably. 

Under Zimmer, the Vikings have hardly ever let a significant lead slip away. They tend to get ahead by 2-3 scores by the 3rd quarter or early 4th and then hold on to win by 8 points or more, sometimes allowing a garbage time score. Almost all of their wins are by 8 points or more: 4 of 5 this year, 10 of 13 in the regular season last year, 6 of 8 in 2016. 

They've hardly let any leads slip away. The Saints playoff game was the one major exception, and that required a stupid INT and a blocked punt. They didn't lose any leads otherwise last year, and none this year (trailed wire-to-wire to the Bills, and were behind by halftime to the Rams and Saints). They lost a couple games to the Lions in 2016 with FG tying drives in the final minutes but neither of those were big leads or held for long. 

The Vikings defense in other words has been excellent at shutting down games, and their offense has done enough to kill clock and avoid turnovers to lead to wins. 

The current team is nothing like the 1998 Vikings, which had an amazing offense and a mediocre to terrible defense. This is a team with a solid but not great offense and a defense that's potentially the best in the league. 

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2 hours ago, Krauser said:

This is a common talking point among Vikings fans, and the media (Coller and Zulgad went to the well on this point over and over during the off season), but there's really no basis for it. 

We'd all like to see the Vikings boatrace teams and win blowouts going away, but there's no actual advantage to doing that compared to just choking the life out of the game and winning comfortably. 

Under Zimmer, the Vikings have hardly ever let a significant lead slip away. They tend to get ahead by 2-3 scores by the 3rd quarter or early 4th and then hold on to win by 8 points or more, sometimes allowing a garbage time score. Almost all of their wins are by 8 points or more: 4 of 5 this year, 10 of 13 in the regular season last year, 6 of 8 in 2016. 

They've hardly let any leads slip away. The Saints playoff game was the one major exception, and that required a stupid INT and a blocked punt. They didn't lose any leads otherwise last year, and none this year (trailed wire-to-wire to the Bills, and were behind by halftime to the Rams and Saints). They lost a couple games to the Lions in 2016 with FG tying drives in the final minutes but neither of those were big leads or held for long. 

The Vikings defense in other words has been excellent at shutting down games, and their offense has done enough to kill clock and avoid turnovers to lead to wins. 

The current team is nothing like the 1998 Vikings, which had an amazing offense and a mediocre to terrible defense. This is a team with a solid but not great offense and a defense that's potentially the best in the league. 

Very good post.

I'm not saying we need to risk blowing games in favor of scoring more points but there's just too many times we're just fine settling whether it's on O or D. I guess a good way to put it is that sometimes I get the impression we're playing it too safe instead of taking some risks (and not just 4th and shorts).

I just don't see a killer edge to the team. I get that when I see the Saints or Rams or Eagles or Patriots. They just have something that screams "Yep, we're the best and we know it. If something bad happens, we're going to get right back at it."

It's just so hard to put into words. It's just.....something is missing with the mentality of the team. Something I think we need to get over the top.

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27 minutes ago, Vikes_Bolts1228 said:

Very good post.

I'm not saying we need to risk blowing games in favor of scoring more points but there's just too many times we're just fine settling whether it's on O or D. I guess a good way to put it is that sometimes I get the impression we're playing it too safe instead of taking some risks (and not just 4th and shorts).

I just don't see a killer edge to the team. I get that when I see the Saints or Rams or Eagles or Patriots. They just have something that screams "Yep, we're the best and we know it. If something bad happens, we're going to get right back at it."

It's just so hard to put into words. It's just.....something is missing with the mentality of the team. Something I think we need to get over the top.

I think it depends on the game. We are more aggressive early in games we think we'll have to score more points. 

I think of the Rams game last year. They scored 7 on first drive. Next series, we have 4th and 1 from just across midfield. If it were a bad team, I think we would've punted and played field position game at that point. Instead, we go for it. Ended up with no points on the drive, but that is one example where I wouldn't say we settled.

This year, we've went for it on 4th down three times in the first quarter and five in the first half. Going for it on the first drive of the second half against NO too. Those are all times where we didn't settle.

I also think perception of some of these other teams is different than reality. Clearly from another thread, it seems people thought JDF would bring a Greatest Show on Turf on steriods to Minnesota, but that was never reality. You see highlights of these teams every week, but those are only 4-5 plays out of 60-some in a game.

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They’ve played with an edge on offense this year. 

Robinson’s TD in the Jets game was a 4th and 6 from outside the 30 (on a bad day for kicking FGs), leading 30-17. 

Cousins went deep to Robinson at the goalline from the Lions 43 in the 3rd quarter leading 17-6. 

The bomb to Diggs turned the Packers game around in a hurry.

They've generally been willing to throw deep. Cousins was leading the league in deep TD passes when I last checked. They called a flea flicker last week. 

Their problem has been the opposite, they’ve struggled to sustain drives and limit mistakes.

Cousins’ fumbles turned the Bills game into a rout. Cook’s fumble cost them a scoring drive that might’ve put the Niners away early. Thielen’s fumble swung the Saints game and the pick six sealed their chances of a comeback. The fumble on the swing pass to Thomas helped make the Eagles game a nail biter. The fumble 6 in the Cards game kept it interesting. 

Even beyond the turnovers, they’ve had a lot of drives stall because of sacks, holding penalties (especially on runs, they’ve lost at least 4 big gains to flags), batted passes (including several that would’ve converted 3rd downs or goal to go possessions if not knocked down), and unsuccessful runs. 

The kind of bread and butter, limited mistakes but low upside football that characterized say the 2015 team has been in short supply — their run game is boom or bust, and the passing attack similarly has a lot of long TDs but too many failed 3rd down conversions. 

The reaction I think is because they’ve had a few games that felt closer than they should have even in the 4th quarter, but then the Zimmer Vikings tend to win games like that, one way or another, and they’ve been winning those games. 

I think they should be able to win most of their remaining games as long as the the OL continues to improve and the defense continues its recent trend (they’ve been very good since the Rams game). They’ll need Cousins to make a few more plays, and limit mistakes. I think they should finish 5-2 or better, and win the division.

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Yeah you guys are certainly right. I just don't know what this feeling is. Maybe it's just an inconsistent season thus far that's getting at me. 

Maybe it's just the mistakes we're making on offense that's making things seem a lot more "clunky" than they are. It seems we have stretches of the offense looking unstoppable then we have stretches of looking absolutely inept.

And early in the season, the defense was making stupid mistakes as well but we're getting those shored up. Maybe the offense will get it figured out heading into the back stretch.

Don't mind me, boys.......

 

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