4 keys to victory for the Vikings vs. the Lions in Week 9

(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook
(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings /

Make things simple for Cousins

Kirk Cousins has gone through his fair share of complications this season, which is a large reason why the Minnesota Vikings are 2-5. It’s not all his fault, despite what some sections of the fanbase will tell you, but there is no denying his level of play hasn’t been up to his usual high standard.

The Vikings reverted to type with the return of Dalvin Cook against the Packers. They ran the ball effectively and took advantage of some soft coverages when the opportunity presented itself.

This was a key component behind their success under offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski before he departed to take the head coaching to in Cleveland. Although replacement Gary Kubiak has come in for some criticism through eight games, it does appear the penny has finally dropped if their Week 8 scheme was any indication.

Cousins threw the ball just 14 times last weekend, which was eight lower than his previous low of 22 at the Texans. However, this resulted in a season-high completion percentage of 78.57 and the simpler Minnesota can make things for their signal-caller, the better their chances will be.

That might sound like an easy task, but the Vikings have trouble protecting on the interior and for all Cousins’ positive traits when things are not going his way the player does try to force things that simply aren’t there.