High No. 3
Cousins and the offense didn’t lose hope
There have been countless circumstances in Vikings history (as recent as seven or so years ago) where this game would have been cooked the moment the Packers took a 22-7 lead. Truth be told, this game felt as if it was headed in that direction.
Kirk Cousins disagreed. Each time the defense failed to hinder Aaron Rodgers’ theatrics, the Minnesota offense counterpunched and kept the contest within reach for virtually all of the second half.
Cousins is no stranger to second-half rallies — he personally orchestrated an improbably one last season against the Denver Broncos. This game never entered that aura of memorability, but the Vikings did trade haymakers with the Packers until very late in the game.
In some ways, this is an “e for effort” acknowledgment of Cousins’ perseverance. But ask yourself — would you rather the game end by a score of 43-10? Probably not.
At the very least, Cousins gave glimpses of what Minnesota’s offense will eventually look like. The team just needs the defense to return to its longstanding competence.
That’s the big mystery for the Week 2 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. Was the Vikings defense merely beset by strange factors like no preseason and little crowd noise? Or is this defense no longer sufficient?