HIBBING — A couple of weeks ago, I made a prediction that the Minnesota Vikings would go 13-3.
After one game, is it time to hit the panic button?
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers riddled the Vikings’ defense for 43 points.
The pash rush was nonexistent, and the secondary play, well there’s no need to dwell on that.
Green Bay racked over 500 yards of offense in that game.
On the other side of the ball, Minnesota only held onto the ball for something like 16 minutes.
Yeah, the Vikings put up 34 points, but a lot of that came in garbage time.
Even if Minnesota put on a rally, the Packers scored at will.
I know there was no preseason, and the Vikings’ defense was missing Danielle Hunter, but the one question I would ask Coach Mike Zimmer is this, “Why wasn’t your team ready to play?”
Is that a little too harsh?
Green Bay didn’t have any preseason games, but the Packers didn’t miss a beat on offense and defense.
Green Bay gave up 34 points, but by that time, the game had already been decided. Had the Vikings’ defense actually showed up to play, it would have been interesting to see how Green Bay would have responded.
As Minnesota prepares to play Indianapolis today, Hunter is still out, and Cam Dantzler, one of the Vikings up-and-coming cornerbacks might miss the game.
That leaves Holton Hill and Mike Hughes as the only two healthy cornerbacks, along with rookie Jeff Gladney, who only got a few snaps in the Packers game. If you want to count Harrison Hand? and Kris Boyd? I guess there’s five healthy cornerbacks.
The Colts are being quarterbacked by Phillip Rivers, who has the arm to hurt Minnesota, but he’s not mobile.
Zimmer, who is supposed to be a defensive guru, sure didn’t didn’t look the part last week.
I know he’ll make adjustments, but will they be enough to rattle Rivers, who will hurt the Vikings if they don’t put any pressure on him.
I know it’s only one game, but teams that start 0-2 have a 12.2-percent chance of making the playoffs.
But after Indianapolis, Minnesota plays Houston and DeShaun Watson. That’s not going to be a piece of cake, especially if the defense is still bad.
Only 3.4-percent of the teams that start 0-3 make the playoffs.
They can’t use the COVID-19 excuse because there will be plenty of 2-0 teams, along with teams that are 1-1.
The Vikings lost at home, which makes it more frustrating. Now, they have to win one on the road to even things out.
We’ll see what happens today.
The Minnesota Wild have picked up two new players, Nick Bjugstad, who they acquired in a trade from Pittsburgh, and Marcus Johansson, who they got from Buffalo in exchange for Eric Staal.
Both are centermen, which the Wild desperately need, but Bjugstad has been hampered by injury.
Johansson only recorded 30 points for the Sabres last season in 60 games. Those aren’t overwhelming numbers.
Minnesota signed Jonas Brodin to an extension, but on Friday, General Manager Bill Guerin announced that the team wasn’t bringing back Mikko Koivu, who has been the team’s captain since 2009.
It was time for the Wild to get younger, and that has happened, but give Koivu credit.
He never was a big goal scorer, but he was a two-way centerman. His defensive acumen, especially on the penalty kill, was second-to-none.
It’ll be strange not seeing him in uniform when the 2020-21 season begins, whenever that is.
There’s also rumors that Matt Dumba might be traded. How feasible is it to trade a guy that was just awarded the 2020 King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which goes to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities both on and off the ice?
That would be a hard pill to swallow, but we’ll see what happens.
Stay tuned, and stay safe.