3 of 5
The bad things in Week 13
- Opening drives. Starting the game with the ball and a three-and-out is not good, but to pair that with defensive mistakes that led to a pretty easy Patriots touchdown is not how you want to start a game against a team like New England.
- The internal clock. Kirk Cousins knows his offensive line isn’t able to buy him a lot of time, so when his first or second reads aren’t there, he has to know the defense is closing in. Standing in the pocket and trusting the protection is brave, but also pretty foolish.
- More kicking woes. Another week, another missed field goal. The miss from 48 yards out is far from an automatic make, but Minnesota really needs to figure out their kicking game and find a way to get some points on the board. Mechanically, there has to be something wrong and it’s on special teams coach Mike Priefer to fix it.
- No balance on offense. 33 pass attempts and 13 rushing tries aren’t going to keep any defense guessing. Add in that Cook had 84 yards on 9 carries and averaged 9.3 yards per attempt, and you have a real head-scratching situation as to why he didn’t get the ball more often on the ground.
- The offensive line. Coming into this game, the Patriots were one of the teams with the fewest sacks in the league. Still, they were able to sack Kirk Cousins twice and pressure him numerous more times. No offensive lineman looked good in pass protection and several holding calls on runs proved to be costly as well.