The Denver Broncos are coming off their bye week and traveling to Minneapolis to take on the Vikings. How did Kirk Cousins fare vs. Vic Fangio in 2018?
The Minnesota Vikings are coming off of an impressive road win against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, traveling back home to Minneapolis to host Vic Fangio and the Denver Broncos.
The Vikings are obviously a familiar foe for Fangio, who coached against them twice a year from 2015-18. Last year was Cousins’ first year with the Vikings and he was supposed to bring this Minnesota team into contention, but the Vikings ended up surprisingly missing the playoffs completely.
Two losses to Fangio’s Bears contributed to the Vikings’ struggles in 2018, and the Cousins-led offense struggled to put up points against Fangio’s top-ranked defense.
Let’s take a look at the numbers.
Kirk Cousins/Vikings offense vs. Vic Fangio in 2018
- 30 points (2 games)
- 50-of-79 passing (63.3 percent)
- 357 yards (total)
- 3 touchdowns
- 2 interceptions
- 6 sacks
Two of those touchdowns were after the game had already been lost by the Vikings, but Minnesota was much more competitive in the second meeting despite ultimately losing 24-10.
One of the big keys for the Bears in dominating the Vikings in 2018? Stopping the run. Although the narrative is always going to surround the quarterback, it’s the Vikings’ running game that could prove to be the major difference maker in this game as Dalvin Cook is looking like one of the best backs in the NFL this season.
They rushed for a combined 85 yards in two games against Fangio’s defense last season and Cook was, indeed, present for both of those games.
The Vikings’ offense is under new management this year despite having much of the same personnel. Gary Kubiak was brought in to oversee their offense and his fingerprints have been all over what they’re doing.
In that regard, both teams are at somewhat of an advantage because they are facing their own offense, in a way.
The key for the Broncos will be forcing the ball into Cousins’ hands, even though he’s been terrific this season statistically. The Vikings have put up a couple of stinkers offensively this year against good defenses (Packers, Bears games), but their offense has shown it can score points in big bunches as well.
Fangio will undoubtedly have a strong gameplan in place with two weeks to prepare for Cousins and a white-hot defense coming off of a week of rest. The question is whether or not Denver’s offense will be able to keep their momentum from a week ago against Cleveland to pull off a big upset on the road in Minnesota where they are 10-point underdogs.