S or N: Defeating Sinners
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.
moleHill into a mountain
There isn't much to be negative about that happened during the win but the way that Taysom Hill gashed the defense on so many plays almost undid all the good & great things that were done by almost every other facet of the team. On the brightside, I don't think that San Fran has a player of his diverse talent. Nonetheless, the struggle against the gadget player can't be swept aside.
But with that said, onto all the good!
The season-long exercise of crossing off the detractor factors by Kirk Cousins hit a new height today. He nearly threw what probably should have been an interception but could have been a tough catch as well. Beyond that, he managed the game as well as he has at any point this year. I didn't think of it in the moment but even the sack that he took late in the fourth quarter was very shrewd because it kept the clock running while an incomplete pass would have played into NOLA's hands.
130 total yards is still short of how Dalvin Cook started the year but he made each & every one count to the maximum. I think the more impactful piece of his stat line was the 31 total touches that he finished with. He's the workhorse of the offense and without him, the Vikings may have had a very different outcome.
Max - Pro
But if the offensive line had struggled the way that they did against Green Bay two weeks ago, neither of those quintessential elements would have been able to do all that they managed to today. The vaunted New Orleans defense finished with 3 sacks and the number of pressures isn't abhorrently higher than that. And yeah, that is a good defense so credit where it is due!
Dusting of the Destruction Crew
The defense that had been among the league's best for the last few years was pretty well intact again this season but I, like so many, was wondering if their time had past. If today was any indication, they were biding their time for late in the season and the playoffs. They had been noticeably better in December but it was on another level today, against one of the league's best offenses. Maybe the results will prove me wrong but I don't think that San Fran is nearly as good of an offense as New Orleans' so if they get 1 week healthier - not a guarantee considering the strange Hughes injury - and can scheme up just as well for Saturday then I really like the team's chances of making it to the championship game! Rhodes made a couple nice plays, Kendricks & Barr were their usually reliable selves, Smith was good & Harris continued to ballhawk, the entire defensive-line rotation seemed to know their responsibilities and had the best success of any against Brees this year. Total defensive success.
It's not an all-encompassing wrap of the pros and cons to extract from the big win but I think it covers all the main facts.