NFC Game Of The Week

Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs

Vikings: I guess all it takes is to call someone out these days. That’s exactly what happened a few weeks ago when Adam Thielen told the media that Kirk Cousins needs to connect on the deep passes. I’m all for voicing your frustrations, but I wouldn’t say anything to the media especially when they are known to twist words around. Look back at what he said now, it’s a blessing in disguise. Kirk has been on a tear in the last few games. This is the best I’ve seen him look. In his last four games, he’s thrown ten touchdown passes with zero interceptions. Against his former team last Thursday night, the numbers were once again efficient. He completed 23 of his 26 passes attempts with 285 yards passing. This is the guy the Minnesota Vikings were hoping they’d get. It’s about time he’s played like he earned a big contract. At this moment, it’s looking to be a two-team race in the NFC North between the Green Bay Packers and these Vikings. When will Dalvin Cook get some more love? Right now, I have him as one of my three MVP candidates with Christian McCaffrey and Russell Wilson. When Dalvin is healthy, he’s one of the best running backs in the league. He’s an all-around back that runs it with power along with catching the ball in the flat. The defense is still one of the ten best units in football. This isn’t a shocker considering Mike Zimmer is a defensive minded guy. Kirk has played well up to this point. Sunday will be a test for him in Arrowhead against a Chiefs group looking to bounce back.

Chiefs: Although they lost on Sunday night, I liked the fight I saw from them. When it looked like Green Bay was going to pull away and blow them out, the Chiefs fought back and at one time, they scored 17 unanswered points. That was a fun game to watch because it was almost as if you were watching a boxing match with both teams throwing punches each chance they got. In the end, the Packers just proved to be too much, and the Chiefs defense struggled when it mattered most in the fourth quarter. I must give them some credit though because even without three starters on defense, they played tough football. They were without Frank Clark who’s their pass rushing specialist. When you don’t have that pass rush up front, you don’t have much of a choice but to blitz each time. They sent linebackers and even safeties on a blitz. It’s been a rough patch for Andy Reid’s group. They’ve lost three of their last four games and they’re still without Patrick Mahomes who’s dealing with that lingering knee issue. Even at 5-3, the Chiefs are still the best team in their division with everyone else struggling. I’ve seen the reports that Mahomes has been practicing, which is good and all, but they must be smart with how they handle this situation. He’s a quarterback that uses his legs a lot to scramble and extend plays. To get back to the winning side of things, they’ll welcome one of the hottest teams in the league right now to Arrowhead.

Vikings Player to Watch: Harrison Smith– He makes a lot of plays for this Vikings defense. He does it all. He covers receivers, forces turnovers, makes tackles for loss, forces fumbles, breaks up passes, etc. He’s full motor on the football field. All gas, no breaks. He’s listed as a safety but displays the versatility to confuse his opponents because he can play in the box as if he were a linebacker. The Chiefs better be aware of where number 22 is on Sunday.

Chiefs Player to Watch: Derrick Nnadi– The former Florida State Seminole. With Frank Clark, Alex Okafor and Chris Jones hit by the injury bug, all eyes are on Derrick. He made a few nice stops on Sunday night against the Packers and he’ll need to do that again on Sunday with the Vikings coming to town. Shutting down Dalvin Cook will be a huge momentum booster for the Chiefs defense.

Final Analysis: The second half of the season is set to begin. Kirk Cousins has a reputation of dominating against the struggling teams but can’t beat the elite competition. This is his chance to show the world he can beat whoever wherever. If you look closely at the Chiefs losses, they’ve struggled to stop the run. The Colts ran all over them as did the Texans and so did the Packers. Why wouldn’t Minnesota? With the Chiefs, Matt Moore just needs to continue to play his game.

Prediction: Vikings 30 Chiefs 27

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