Vikings, like other teams, create a script to start the game. They now plan to do this to start the second half.
In each of their last four games, the Vikings (2-3) have failed to score offensive touchdowns in the second half. Head coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday the team has done a lot of research to fix this in Sunday’s key game against Carolina (3-2).
“I gave the coaches a lot to do this week, Monday,” Zimmer said. “So I think it’s probably going to be a little more specific in between halves, instead of saying, ‘Hey, these are the shows we’re thinking of doing,’ and saying, ‘Okay, this is what we’re going to run. Here is the first game, the second game, the third game, “and we go from there.”
The offensive fight in the second half began in Week 2 in Arizona, when the Vikings landed on midfielder Nick Vigil’s return interception, but failed offensively in a 34-33 loss. They have not scored a second-half touchdown in their last three games, although they have won two of them.
Over the past four games, the Vikings have averaged 16 offensive points in the first half and have scored first possession touchdowns in three of them. But in the second half, they averaged just 4.5 points in attack, with all these points accounted for by Greg Joseph’s six field goals.
“We just need to get executed,” defense attorney Kirk Cousins said. “We need to find a way to be more productive in the second half to score touchdowns. … We just need to find a way to not only move the ball, convert third shots, stay on the field, but then, when we go down into the red zone, leave with a touchdown instead of scoring field goals. ”
One thing that could help Sunday is Dalvin Cook’s return and mostly healthy after missing two of his last three games. He suffered a sprained right ankle against the Cardinals, missed a 30-17 win over Seattle in week three, played but wrestled a 14-7 defeat to Cleveland in week four, then missed a 19- win over Detroit last Sunday. 17 weeks. …
Alexander Matthison was an excellent substitute when Cook was absent, although he lost what could have been a crucial late game touchdown against the Lions. In the two games that Cook missed, he had 100-yard games, but doesn’t throw defense off balance like a two-time Pro Bowl pick.
“Dalvin is a great player and when he’s on the field it’s good for our offense, so it would be great if he came back,” said Cousins.
Cook’s chances of returning against the Panthers look good. He trained on Wednesday on a limited basis and spoke well of his recovery before training.
“I feel good,” he said. “I’m going to keep attacking my rehab, getting stronger, going back to being myself.”
Cook said it was difficult to sit around no matter how the attack was carried out.
“It’s always frustrating not to be able to compete because you work so hard to help the team win games,” he said. “Not being able to go out, we are athletes, this is what we do. … So, the inability to go out on the street at any time, regardless of whether our crime is going well or badly. … Always upsetting. ”
Last Sunday, the decision about Cook was made during the game, and perhaps Detroit’s record and play at home played a role in the decision not to use him. But the Lions (0-5) were ahead 17-16 in the last minute after Mattison missed and would have been upset if Joseph hadn’t scored a 54-meter field goal in the final game.
The Vikings now have a key game against the Panthers. Winning or losing will mean the difference between the 3–3 or 2–4 included in their farewell week.
“That would be great and we’ll just go to the last week with a win, just with such confidence, just starting the second part of our schedule,” said Cook. “And we’re trying to level the score, trying to get back to 0.500.”