Positives: The run game was successful, with Dalvin Cook rushing for 84 yards on just 9 carries, averaging 9.3 yards per carry. The last drive of the 1st half was impressive with Minnesota driving 74 yards, while only taking 1:37 off the clock, culminating in an Adam Thielen receiving touchdown.
Negatives: Overall, the offense struggled mightily throughout the game, putting up only ten points all game. Kirk Cousins struggled with two interceptions and only 201 yards on 44 passing attempts. The Vikings were continued to have issues converting on third downs going three for twelve throughout the game. Minnesota simply abandoned the run game despite the early success they had against the Patriot’s run defense, reflecting poorly on Offensive Coordinator, John DeFillipo. Despite the poor execution on Sunday, DeFillipo, received a large amount of scrutiny from the media, fans and even Head Coach, Mike Zimmer. The last four games of the season will likely determine whether DeFillipo will return as Offensive Coordinator next year.
Positives: The Vikings struggled defensively for most of the game on Sunday but were somehow able to limit the Patriots to 24 points. Erik Kendricks intercepted QB Tom Brady midway through the fourth quarter, giving Minnesota a chance to come back.
Negatives: The already banged up Vikings defense suffered yet another injury in the secondary with Trae Waynes exiting the game with concussion symptoms. In addition to this, CB Xavier Rhodes missed a significant amount of snaps, which may be due to a lingering hamstring injury. Given these injuries it was clear Tom Brady was going to be able to shred the Minnesota defense, which he did, passing for 311 yards. Not only was the Vikings defense controlled by the Patriots passing attack, but also disappointed in the run game, allowing 160 rushing yards to the Patriots offense.
Positives: It seems as if the Vikings may have found a solid kick returner in Ameer Abdullah who was able to average 30.5 yards on his kickoff returns on Sunday.
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