10 quick thoughts on the Vikings loss to the Ravens in Week 9

(Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

More quick thoughts from Minnesota’s loss to Baltimore

3rd down must be Jefferson and Thielen territory – Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has been known to spread the ball around during his NFL career, but when it comes to 3rd down, his eyes need to be on Minnesota’s top two receivers.

Near the end of the second quarter on Sunday, the Vikings were facing a 3rd-and-6 from their own 46-yard line. Despite both Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen being on the field, Cousins elected to throw a pass in the direction of Minnesota receiver Dede Westbrook, and, unsurprisingly, it wound up incomplete.

In crucial situations like 3rd down, Cousins needs to rely more on his top receivers, and worry less about throwing off the defense by tossing it to someone who hardly gets the ball.

Opening touchdown was beautiful – What happens when Cousins actually targets his top pass-catchers? Good things are what typically happen.

As was the case when the Vikings quarterback connected with Jefferson 50 yards down the field for the first touchdown of the game.

Minnesota struggles to cover… a fullback – When looking at film of Baltimore’s offensive weapons this past week, the Vikings probably didn’t do extensive work on Ravens fullback Patrick Ricard. Apparently, they should have though.

Ricard caught three passes for 35 yards on a Baltimore offensive drive in the third quarter that ended with him catching a one-yard touchdown. Before Sunday, Ricard had a total of three catches during the entire 2021 season.

Barr proves his value – Over the years, Minnesota’s coaching staff has gone out of their way to make sure everyone knows all of the things that Anthony Barr does that don’t show up on the stat sheet.

Well, on Sunday he made a big play that actually showed up on the stat sheet. Barr came up with a big interception during the Ravens’ first offensive possession of overtime. Unfortunately, the Vikings’ offense wasn’t able to capitalize on the opportunity that their Pro Bowl linebacker gave them.