S or N: Split Decision
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.
Sell, Sell, Sell
There is no longer any reason to be optimistic about this defense being able to carry 50% of the weight. They've gone 7 games in a row struggling to stop any quarterback not named Haskins. This is the worst the defense has played since the end of the Leslie Frasier era and is firmly a trend.
Ever since he signed his contract, the Vikings have been ridiculed, questioned and given the side-eye because of Cousins. It came in a loss (without his MVP caliber running back for much and the all-pro receiver for all) but Cousins slayed another dragon as far as I'm concerned. Monday night, against a championship contender with a big second-half deficit, he couldn't have played much better.
Maybe Xavier Rhodes just hates Minnesota all of the sudden. Maybe he would rather be with one of the teams from his home state. Or maybe he just can't hack it anymore. There are contract implications that may sting but these need to be his last games in the Purple jersey because he is the biggest liability of them all.
Cynics will discredit the play because of the busted coverage by the defense but Laquon Treadwell made the most of his one chance. In his first go-round with the team he never made a play like his score last night. It's the latest and greatest example of a positive turn from the former first-round pick. Fingers crossed but it may also signal the beginning of the Vikings having the kind of receiving corp that they had during their best years!
Of course it was Anthony Harris catching the batted pass and running it in for a touchdown. He may never be the most high-profile member of the defense but every time he gets a chance to make an impact he seems to accomplish the feat.
Turning the Corner
With four games remaining they may prove me wrong, especially because of the D but with the way Cousins is running the offense the four losses that they have now may be what they finish the season with. If they had been going like this from game one than they wouldn't even have four Ls but better late than never. The odds of getting a bye are all but gone now and I'm not sure they'll even be able to wrestle away the division from GB but there are plenty of things to be positive about with this club. That's not usually my tenor after a loss but I'm optimistic about where the team is, even if I remain negative about the defense's ability to collectively hold up their end.
It's not an all-encompassing wrap of the pros and cons to extract from today's game but I think these are the main takeaways!