I can’t believe it’s already Halloween.
Cousins Goes Down
After a 1-4 start to the season, the Minnesota Vikings are now on a three-game winning streak and have turned their season around. After their 24-10 win against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, the talk around the team would have been about their newfound playoff and maybe even division winning hopes. Instead the optimism came to a sudden halt when quarterback Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles in the fourth quarter on Sunday’s game.
This devastating injury is sad on multiple levels. Firstly, you never want to see any athlete suffer any injury, but certainly not a torn Achilles. Secondly, Cousins is one of the older starting quarterbacks in the league. This is an injury that is difficult for anyone to comeback from, but it’s even harder for a 35-year-old. Lastly, Cousins was playing arguably the best football of his career. He was completing 69.5% of his passes, had thrown for 2,331 yards, which is the second-most in the league currently, had 18 touchdown passes and a quarterback rating of 103.8. He certainly wasn’t to blame for the Vikings’ poor start. The defense has gotten a lot better, and he has had better protection the last few games. The other part of this that must be weighing on Vikings fans’ minds is, was that the last time they saw Cousins in a Vikings uniform?
The San Francisco 49ers looked like the best team in football through five games. Their defense was playing great and the offense was looking unstoppable. In Week 5, they dismantled the Dallas Cowboys 42-10 and everything was looking rosy. Since then, they have been on a downward trajectory. They are on a three-game losing streak. They lost to the Cleveland Browns, the Minnesota Vikings and the Cincinnati Bengals. The loss against the Browns could be chalked up to just losing to a great defense on the road while they sustained injuries to some key players.
However, the last two losses are a concern. Sunday’s 31-17 loss to the Bengals looked an awful lot like their loss to the Vikings. A good quarterback dicing up the defense, and them seemingly having no answers on how to fix it. Joe Burrow completed 28 of 32 passes, threw for 283 yards and three touchdowns. Ja’Marr Chase had 10 catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. They also allowed Joe Mixon to get 84 yards on 16 carries. Mixon averaged 5.4 yards a carry, which isn’t going to cut it for the 49ers. Things seem a bit weird in San Francisco right now. Kyle Shanahan publicly called out defensive coordinator Steve Wilks after the Vikings loss, saying that Wilks shouldn’t have made a certain call that led to a Vikings touchdown. Lastly, Brock Purdy is starting to be put in some unfavorable situations, and is making mistakes. In the first five games, Purdy hadn’t thrown an interception. He has thrown five in their last three games.
NFC’s Drivers Seat Up For Grabs
With recent play of the 49ers, the best two teams in the NFC are the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys came off of their bye week with a resounding 43-20 win against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The Cowboys’ defense and special teams was once again great in a dominant home win as they got a pick six and a punt block safety. The most encouraging thing for the Cowboys is the play of Dak Prescott. He followed up his great performance against the Los Angeles Chargers with another tremendous game. Prescott completed 25 of 31 passes, threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns. CeeDee Lamb was also great in what was his best game of the year so far. Lamb had 12 catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns.
The Eagles improved to a 7-1 record after beating the Washington Commanders 38-31. For some reason the Commanders have played the Eagles tough the last two seasons, and this game wasn’t any different. Jalen Hurts was fantastic. Hurts completed 29 of 38 passes, threw for 319 yards and four touchdowns. A.J. Brown has been the best receiver in the league after Tyreek Hill this season, and he was tremendous against the Commanders. Brown had eight catches for 130 yards and had two touchdowns.
Luckily for us fans, we get to see these two bitter rivals face off against one another for the first time this season in Week 9.
Header Photo: This Kirk Cousins news is one the worst thing that could have happened for the hopes of Vikings fans and players. Their resurgence might now be all for nothing. (Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via AP)
Write to Mohamed Warsame at email@example.com