Vikings vs. Chiefs: Kirk Cousins is red hot and other things to know
Matt Moore has a history with the Vikings
You have to hand it to Matt Moore. For a quarterback who hadn’t made a regular season start in almost two years, wasn’t in the NFL in 2018, likely hadn’t taken any snaps between the start of the regular season and Mahomes’ injury, and was competing against a future first-ballot Hall of Famer in primetime, he carried himself remarkably well. It’s games like that, for a backup, that can result in another contract and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets another shot this offseason because of it.
The question still remains, if he plays instead of Mahomes for a second straight week, whether or not he can string together multiple good games in a row. A major benefit to Moore’s chances last week was the lack of film on what plays and concepts Reid would run with Moore at the helm. At this point there’s still not a lot, but last Sunday’s game at least gives the Vikings a glimpse into how Reid will likely approach them with Moore.
That said, I think Moore has shown enough in his career that we can feel reasonably comfortable with him against the Vikings. This is a day game, so I expect him to play even better with less pressure. I think his only hangup last Sunday was he was a little too hyped up at the beginning and it took him a few series to calm down. I don’t expect he’ll need that on Sunday.
This next point doesn’t predict that Moore will have a great game as the coaching staff and players are different, but for what it’s worth, he had a great game in his last clash with the Vikings. In that contest in 2009 Moore completed 21 passes on 33 attempts for 299 yards and three touchdowns. If he has anywhere close to that type of performance, and our defense continues to play tough, this will put the Chiefs in a great position to steal the game.
My Prediction – Chiefs 27, Vikings 24
This is a tough one because I think the Vikings are one of the more underrated teams in the league right now. They have great talent on both sides and have had a great stretch the last four games. All they have needed the last few years is an above average quarterback to get the ball to their playmakers, and Cousins seems to finally be settling into that role.
Even so, Cousins has been rather streaky throughout his career. It’s pretty well known that he will have a stretch of great games followed by a stretch of terrible games. His great games are what he gets paid for, his terrible games are what he gets scorned for.
This is a large reason why I’m picking the Chiefs in this one. Reid is a better coach than Zimmer, but Zimmer should be able to hold his own. The Chiefs are more talented across the board than the Vikings, but only marginally. The Chiefs probably won’t have Mahomes, and even if they do it’s unlikely he’s 100 percent, but Cousins is due for a bad game.
After last weeks play, I expect the Chiefs to jump out to an early lead and almost never look back. The Vikings will make it interesting late, but ultimately the Chiefs will come away with the win.