The Kansas City Chiefs took care of business with the Minnesota Vikings coming to town. This was the type of win this team needed. The Chiefs played strong complementary football on both sides, and came through when it mattered most. Also, Minnesota looked shaken in many areas and was unable to overcome altered plans. Now, let’s take a look at some of the major keys from this game. Here is our game recap of Chiefs versus Vikings.
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Shut It Down
During their recent four game win streak, the Vikings were flying high. Many thought Kansas City’s defense would not have a chance to stop them. This was all for not though, as the Chiefs out muscled the Vikings in many areas.
Minnesota has had their struggles at offensive line. But, it was very telling how much the defensive line seems to be improving for the Chiefs. Getting Chris Jones back in the lineup was obviously a huge plus as well. For most of the game, Minnesota’s line struggled against the power and quickness that they saw.
More importantly, Dalvin Cook was largely non-existent. Cook entered this game, having led the league in rushing yards. To boot, he was also fifth in yards per attempt at 5.3. In this game, the Chiefs front seven was playing nasty and hitting hard. Cook was unable to hit that second gear very often, and was mostly stuck running into his own blockers. Overall, he finished with just 71 yards on 21 carries. Furthermore, the Chiefs have not just been stopping the run against the Vikings. In the last three weeks, they have allowed just 3.68 yards per carry. That is a massive improvement, considering they have faced Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman, Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams along with Cook.
Once again, Matt Moore put his team in a position to win. He was on the money from the get go. Not only was he throwing darts, Moore was also fooling the Vikings defense. Seeing him come through on critical throws was satisfying to watch. He was aggressive. But more importantly, Moore was smart situationally and knew when not to play with fire.
Similarly to the Green Bay game, certain aspects of his game stuck out. The ability to stand in the pocket and take big hits after throw was evident. Additionally, his deep balls were extremely accurate. Countless times, Moore connected with Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce on long balls that looked like they had little to no chance of being completed. Give credit to both the quarterback and receivers for coming through in pressure packed moments. Lastly, Moore did his job with Patrick Mahomes out, as Kansas City was able to split two home games against tough teams.
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They Are Who We Thought They Were
Many of the national media believed Minnesota would have no problem winning this game. However, winning in the NFL is far from easy. This game defines the kind of team the Vikings have been over the last few years. Under Mike Zimmer, the defense has largely been the better unit. As we look towards the Vikings offense, many things stick out, but it all starts with Kirk Cousins. Cousins has struggled in big games before, and this game showed more of the same. In fact, he is now 0-10-1 when trailing in the fourth quarter as Vikings quarterback. He struggled to complete throws, when open receivers were there. Also, the Chiefs pressure threw him and the Vikings off their game. Significantly, Cousins actually entered this game with the best numbers against the blitz.
Besides the QB, the Vikings old demons came out. They have historically started out the season hot, before crashing down the stretch. In this game, the Chiefs not only beat the Vikings without Mahomes. Kansas City also found ways to score, despite going two of fifteen on third down, allowing five sacks and having the game’s lone turnover. We already talked about them holding down Dalvin Cook defensively before. But, it was jarring to see Stefon Diggs finish with just one catch for four yards. Most of all, the Chiefs came through more in the bigger moments than the Vikings did.
Best Win Yet
This victory for Kansas City was the most complete game they had played all season. The energy displayed by the players, as well as fringe players stepping up to the plate have rejuvenated this team. Now, the Chiefs win over the Vikings looks to be a pivotal win in setting up Kansas City for a red hot run down the stretch. The celebration with kicker Harrison Butker following his game winning kick, is just one example of this team realizing they could have what it takes.
Not only was this win huge for the Chiefs fortunes. The entire AFC West got victories on Sunday. This makes 6-3 look a whole lot better than it really is, in a weak division. However, other teams losing like the Colts and Patriots makes things that much more interesting in the AFC Playoff Picture.
The Chiefs will hit the road for a date with the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee has a feisty team, but they have gone through many changes and shortcomings this year. Chris Jones returned on Sunday, as did Andrew Wylie. It’s expected that Mahomes, Frank Clark and Kendall Fuller could also possibly return for next week’s game.
That will conclude the game recap for Chiefs versus Vikings. Be on the lookout for more articles throughout this week. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.