Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
FOXBORO, Mass. — One Vikings starting cornerback was knocked out in the first half with a concussion and the other was slowed by a bad hamstring. That’s not a good predicament when the opposing quarterback is Tom Brady. rady threw for 311 yards as the New England Patriots pulled away in the second half from the Vikings to win 24-10 Sunday, Dec. 2, at Gillette Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS — When Craig James walked into his first Vikings defensive backs meeting as a member of the 53-man roster, Marcus Sherels said, “Look, there goes another Gopher.’’ James, a cornerback, finished his college career at Southern Illinois, but he played for the University of Minnesota from 2014-15. That was long enough to be singled out by Sherels, a former Gophers star who has been a Vikings cornerback since 2010.
EAGAN, Minn. -- The Vikings are underdogs for Sunday, Dec. 2’s game at New England, and that’s OK with head coach Mike Zimmer. “I think we play better when we’re underdogs,” he said. The Patriots are a five-point favorite for the game at Gillette Stadium; it is the fourth time this season the Vikings (6-4-1) have been an underdog. When the Vikings are underdogs, Zimmer said, “It’s just us against the world.” Whether that’s been the case this season is debatable, but overall the Vikings have done pretty well as underdogs in Zimmer’s five seasons with the team.
EAGAN, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith is disappointed his penalized hit earlier this month on Mitch Trubisky resulted in an injury for the Chicago quarterback. He still plans to appeal the NFL’s $10,026 fine for the hit. Trubisky had gone into a slide at the end of a run when Smith hit him late in the Bears’ 25-20 victory on Nov. 18. The hit caused a shoulder injury that is expected to keep Trubisky out for a second consecutive game Sunday against the Giants in New York. Smith was penalized for unnecessary roughness.
EAGAN, Minn. -- Before joining the Vikings, Kirk Cousins had plenty of experience running for his life. Last season in Washington, Cousins was sacked 41 times for an NFL-high 312 lost yards. Now in his first year with Minnesota, Cousins is on pace to be sacked … 41 times. Cousins already has been dropped 28 times this season, 11th most among NFL quarterbacks. But it could be a lot worse considering Pro Football Focus ranks Cousins as the most pressured quarterback in the NFL.
Bill Parcells always finds it difficult when two of his proteges face one another. It was hard when Vikings coach Mike Zimmer met New Orleans coach Sean Payton in the playoffs last season, when Zimmer came out on top thanks to the “Minnesota Miracle.” And it will be hard for the Hall of Fame coach when the Vikings on Sunday, Dec. 2, take on another of his former assistants, New England’s Bill Belichick. The Vikings (6-4-1) meet the Patriots (8-3) on Sunday for a 3:25 p.m. kickoff at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.
EAGAN, Minn. — Deep into his second NFL season, Vikings running back Dalvin Cook scored his first touchdown. Sidelined by knee surgery as a rookie and by a hamstring this season, Cook took a swing pass from Kirk Cousins and ran 26 yards into the right corner of the end zone with 2:53 left in the first quarter. “It’s a great feeling,” Cook said. “Especially after being patient.”
EAGAN, Minn. — Sacks aren’t always the best measure of a defensive lineman’s pressure on a quarterback, but don’t tell that to Sheldon Richardson. The three-technique defensive tackle signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Vikings in March to give opposing signal callers fits. Entering the game against Green Bay on Sunday, Nov. 25, Richardson led the Vikings in quarterback hurries but had just three shared sacks for a total of 1K.
MINNEAPOLIS - Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Monday that an apparent right hamstring injury cornerback Xavier Rhodes suffered in Sunday night’s game against Green Bay is “very, very mild.”
EAGAN, Minn. — After the Vikings and Packers tied 29-29 in Week 2 at Lambeau Field, talk turned to the Week 12 rematch that many figured would decide the NFC North. After all, the two teams have combined to win the past seven division titles and there was no reason to believe that another team would be in the race.