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A year ago, with a quarterback, second-order, the Vikings skimmed the Super Bowl. Then, throwing 84 million in the court of Kirk Cousins, this was the final step in achieving the dream unfinished, become a reality. However, the season ends without even a taste of the series, which turns out to be a dismal failure.
Bowing 24-10 in the face of the Bears, with an offensive inanimate and without any creativity, the Vikings have demonstrated for the umpteenth time in the world of the NFL that the kings of the soaring wages in march rarely become kings on the ground a few months later.
Kirk Cousins is not a bad quarterback. The problem is that it is not a great quarterback. Probably that it must be regarded as a good quarterback somewhere above the average of his profession, but no more.
Because the real traits that make the best of what they are, is their ability to shine in the most critical moments. However, Cousins now shows, including the defeat of Sunday, a record of 4-25 career when he faces a team with a winning record.
A great responsibility
The air attack this season, has done better than last year. Cousins is so far from being the only culprit. An observer somewhat attentive will understand that the offensive line of the Vikings has played so unfair this season. As the season progressed, Cousins sported the look panic-stricken deer strayed on to a motorway. His vivacity of spirit in a pouch that collapses has never been his greatest asset and in this sense, the Vikings have failed to better protect their mega investment.
Cousins was also often very much alone, the ground game heavily in the shallows of the circuit. Not for nothing in the face of the Bears, on Sunday, the Purple had the ball for 22 min 52 s.
There is also the defensive which, apart from a few games, has not been to the height. Except that, in the end, when it guarantees 84 succulent millions of dollars to a quarterback, it is that one has excellent reasons to believe that he can be the centre piece of a puzzle. It will raise the game of everyone around him.
Cousins is certainly not the only culprit, therefore. It is not the only quarterback in the league who is as good as the players around him, rather than better.
But the error of the Vikings, it is believed that with recipients shiny like Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph, in addition to a defensive biting, Cousins would reach its full potential, and would dispose of the label of a player under-performing in the big moments.
Now that the Vikings have missed the playoffs, the pressure will become unbearable next year on the shoulders of Cousins. His first interception in a big game will bring back the same doubts about it. And guaranteed money that has been agreed will force the staff to make choices that are heart-rending elsewhere in the team, that could make it so that Cousins will be less well supported.
Cousins can play good football. Excellent football, even. Against the 49ers, the Lions, the Cardinals and the Jets, yes. But play the football series, it suggests that it is not.
Once again, even if everyone in the stadium knows that they are going to run, the Ravens have won with a harvest monster of 296 yards on the ground. In the playoffs for the first time since 2014, they will face the Chargers, they have beaten the last week.
Agree, this is clearly not a feat of slaying the Jets. Except that the Patriots, tottering recently, were badly in need of a performance so strong, including Tom Brady, with four touchdowns. This will be a ninth leave later in the first round for the Pats.
The wingers close
Travis Kelce, Chiefs, broke the record for the most yards gained by a tight end with 1336. But hardly has he celebrated his record that George Kittle, of the 49ers, the exceeded with 1377 yards. We didn’t see it coming, that one !
What ? The Cardinals in the winners of the week ? This is what happens when a team, to force of losing, ends up winning the top pick in the next draft. He must see the glass half full…
They come back in the playoffs to defend their title against all odds after a season in the sawtooth. However, their quarterback, Nick Foles, injured ribs. Probably nothing too serious, but results of tests will be known today.
It is unacceptable for a team with so much talent would be ruled out of the series. The Steelers are never impulsive when changes seem to impose, but is it that Mike Tomlin might be the head coach of the surprises that will lose his post ? There’s always one.
In a conference where the Eagles have surprise known to get into trouble, where the Packers have imploded and where the Panthers and Falcons have been less strong than expected, we really needed the Vikings pull in the foot to be excluded from the series.
Either Blake Bortles or Cody Kessler, no matter, this offensive is unworthy of the NFL. After the match, the team issued a press release to confirm that it there would be no major changes. However, this season was a disaster.
Unless a misfortune, the injury will not have long-term impact, but finish his season on a concussion, it is never the ideal scenario. It is the exclamation point on a season to forget.
The head coach of the Buccaneers, Dirk Koetter, has been relieved of his duties after the game. It was to be expected. Shortly after, the Jets were imitated by dismissing Todd Bowles. There will be other victims…
5 games of the week
1• happy retirement, Kyle !
The tackler of the Bills, Kyle Williams, had announced before the game against the Dolphins that it would be his last, after a great career of 13 years. His team has made things great for the greet by bringing it on the offensive end of the meeting to allow him to catch a pass. The high-class of an organization for which Williams has played the role of respected leader.
2• Hit Beasley
On a 4th test and a 15-yard pass, the Cowboys seemed poised to end the season on a false note in the face of the Giants. Dak Prescott has, however, joined Cole Beasley in the end zone. Its receiver has plunged, raising one knee just in game, to feel victorious. The victory was without impact for the Cowboys, but they will begin the series in a good state of mind.
3• Barkley flies
Saquon Barkley, the holder of the rookie Giants, has provided a real gliding, diving into the end zone from the line of three yards of the Cowboys. The ball has barely crossed the line, in a spectacular surge. Barkley has also become the 3rd carrier rookie in history to reach the milestone of 2000 yards of the line of scrimmage, in addition to set a record with 91 receptions.
4• Mosleydit not
The game of the day, in terms of impact, is probably the middle linebacker CJ Mosley, who has propelled the Ravens in the playoffs in the middle of a brilliant interception. With the Browns approaching the interior of the line 40 in the zone of Ravens, Mosley has plunged to snatch a pass from Baker Mayfield, ending the last hopes of the Browns.
5• Decision questionable
The officials have, unfortunately, played a key role in a game critical to the outcome of the duel Browns-Ravens. One-quarter of the Ravens, Lamar Jackson, has tried to get into the end zone by jumping over the line of scrimmage, but the video replay clearly shows the ball never reached it. On the sequence, an escaped would have had to be granted to the defensive of the Browns.