S or N: Cali Dreaming
The classical definition for Slobberknocker is a literal hard hit. I'm going to play off that somewhat in a more figurative manner. While in contrast, and maybe more obviously, the Naw's are things that shouldn't have happened and/or need to change.
I haven't lacked to criticize the Purple's defense for a large portion of this season. But when I criticize I will also praise when it's deserved. The last two weeks are what will be needed for them to go the step beyond what they have during any point of my lifetime - make the final game of the season. They aren't going to force seven turnovers again but just because of that happening today they get the first nod! They also held a good offense to only 10 points and scored another touchdown so really, this was a 180 from where things stood just two weeks ago!
It was another solid performance by Cousins today. After the way that the game started, I thought that he may have to carry the weight but instead he just played his role. Yes there was the interception but that really was his first since Green Bay so in a way he was due. He managed the game and took care of the ball again. I for one don't consider "game manager" to be a negative attribution but now it's time for him to rank up from captain. Today's performance has seemed to become his floor and he led the offense to 32 points, which could have been far higher had they punched in the eventual field goals.
It seemed so Vikings like to lose their all-everything running back in the game that was already lacking his primary backup. Well the third member of the Bunch stepped in and more than held his own! Two touchdowns and 56 yards in only 13 carries means that the backfield is in even better hands than many would have accepted just this morning. We're going to need Dalvin back for Monday night but the three-headed monster is a luxury when they're all back and ready to go!
Of all the guys who showed out today, Eric Kendricks always seemed to be around the big plays but never able to do get in the stat sheet for a recovery or touchdown or interception. Another cliche that is sometimes used back-handedly, he's the ultimate glue-guy for the defense. With all the other players that have to get schemed for, he may be able to continue his quiet but devastatingly effective play!
Lest we also not forget about the two lesser-sung heroes of the game. Skolquitt may have only punted twice but each of them finished inside the 20 so that the defense could really lock-in on what they wanted to do. And the guy that he holds for nailed all but one of his kicks, because of a doink off the upright. Subtract his 15 points and the entire tenor of the game may have been different!
It's not an all-encompassing wrap of the pros to extract from today's game but I think these are the main takeaways!