There weren’t the typical high expectations surrounding the Minnesota Vikings 2020 season. The Vikings were perhaps better than anticipated and came quite close to earning a spot in the NFC Playoffs. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be.
Minnesota Vikings Fall Flat to Begin Season
The season started out against the Green Bay Packers. The Vikings offense did its job in this game but the defense was terrible. Minnesota allowed over 500 yards to the Green Bay offense in route to the 43-34 loss. Against the Indianapolis Colts the following week, neither side of the ball did their job. The Vikings offense only had 175 yards and also turned the ball over three times. The defense didn’t allow as many yards or points as the previous week, but they still struggled to get stops. The Minnesota Vikings took another one on the chin, 28-11.
The Vikings continued the search for their first victory against the Tennessee Titans. The offense was again great on this day as Dalvin Cook went for 181 yards and a score. Rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson had 175 yards and a TD as well. The defense did their best bend-but-don’t-break impression in yielding six field goals, but in the end, this was not good enough as the Vikings suffered another loss, 31-30.
Vikings First Win is Followed by More Losing
In a Week 4 battle of winless teams, the Minnesota Vikings and Houston Texans squared off at NRG Stadium. Dalvin Cook went off again for 130 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. His performance helped propel the Vikings to a 31-23 victory.
The Vikings next played the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football. After getting out to a 13-0 lead in the first half, the Seahawks scored 21 unanswered points to take the lead. Minnesota got the lead back but lost it with 15 seconds to go in a one-point loss. The Atlanta Falcons then came to Minneapolis to play the Vikings and completely took over U.S. Bank Stadium. The Falcons scored ten points in every quarter and the Vikings simply couldn’t keep up. Another loss put Minnesota’s record at 1-5.
Minnesota Vikings Plow Through NFC North Foes
Coming out of the bye, the Minnesota Vikings took on the Packers again. This time, it was Cook taking the reigns and scoring all four touchdowns for the Vikings while the Packers’ offense was disappointing. Minnesota pulled off the stunning upset, 28-22.
Could the Vikings continue winning against the Detroit Lions? Cook smoked the Detroit for 206 yards and 2 scores to help the Vikings come out on top. The Vikings carried their first winning streak of the season into a Monday Night Football matchup with the Chicago Bears. The Vikings went down early after allowing Cordarrelle Patterson to return a kick for a TD. Dan Bailey tied it back up with a pair of field goals and Adam Thielen put Minnesota up for good after that. The Vikings earned the 19-13 win, their third straight against NFC North opponents.
Mixed Bag of Results on Homestand
The Dallas Cowboys came north to play at the Minnesota Vikings. Kirk Cousins threw for 314 and 3 touchdowns in the game, but that would not be enough as the Cowboys found the end zone late to come out with a 31-28 win. The Vikings looked to get back to winning against the Carolina Panthers the following week. The Panthers took a 21-10 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Vikings scored 18 points to the Panthers 6 in the final frame to get the win, 28-27. A matchup against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars figured to be a cakewalk, right? No, the Jags took the Vikings to overtime on their home turf, but Dan Bailey was able to bail them out for the 27-24 victory.
Minnesota Vikings Endure Setbacks in Quest for Playoff Spot
With their record back level at .500, the Minnesota Vikings continued their playoff push against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Dan Bailey may have saved them the week prior against Jacksonville, but he hurt them big time in this game. His four missed field goals equated the losing margin in a 26-14 loss.
The Vikings’ next game against the Bears would either help or hurt them significantly in terms of their playoff chances. The Bears could not stop Dalvin Cook, but the Vikings had a harder time containing David Montgomery. Minnesota had more total yardage, but it wasn’t enough as the Bears dished them a painful 33-27 loss.
No Playoff Birth Under the Christmas Tree
With their postseason hopes fading fast, the Minnesota Vikings traveled to the Big Easy for a Christmas Day showdown against the New Orleans Saints. Kirk Cousins threw for 3 scores, but all anyone is going to remember from this game are Alvin Kamara’s cleats and also his 6 rushing touchdowns. Those 6 TDs tied the record for the most in a single game and it would bring about the end of the Vikings’ playoff hopes.
The Minnesota Vikings played their season finale against the Lions. Kirk Cousins probably had his best stat line of the year in this meaningless game as he threw for 405 yards and 3 touchdowns. It was enough to send the Vikings to a season-ending victory.
Minnesota Vikings Offseason Focus: DEFENSE!
The Minnesota Vikings have the 14th pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, and they need to work on the defense. There was far too much inconsistency on that side of the ball in 2020. As far as Mike Zimmer goes, he is safe for now in his job. Nonetheless, the rumor mill indicates that he could be on the hot seat next season.