The Vikings moved to 5-2 after their 24-16 defeat of the Ravens Sunday afternoon.
Kai Forbath made a career-high six field goals, and Latavius Murray scored his first touchdown in Purple, but NFL.com's Marc Sessler credited Minnesota's "Super-Bowl Worthy D" in his column of takeaways following the game. Sessler wrote:
[Ravens quarterback Joe] Flacco threw for an outrageous 51 yards over the first 30 minutes of play before finishing with 186 yards on the day, with too much of that coming on a final garbage-time march. Baltimore couldn't get anything done in the backfield, either, managing just 64 yards on the ground. Spinning this positively, Baltimore was facing a Minnesota defense that looks like a Super Bowl-worthy unit.
Sessler highlighted Murray's 113-yard performance and also mentioned both teams' kickers, who accounted for 27 of the 40 total points scored.
Perhaps you aren't a fan of [9-6 games] at the half, but it's hard not to respect the handiwork of both team's kickers. Baltimore's unparalleled Justin Tucker nailed field goals of 57, 48 and 47 yards, while Minnesota's Kai Forbath banged kicks of 52, 51, 34, 32 and a pair of 43 yarders. His six field goals were one shy of a team record held by Rich Karlis.
The Vikings dealt with the return of Brandon Williams, who missed the prior four games with a foot injury. Sessler said that Williams "made an early impact" in his comeback but that his presence wasn't enough to stop Minnesota from racking up 169 rushing yards.
Vikings offense notches another win with 21-plus points
The Vikings are now 24-3 under Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer when they score 21 points or more.
The *Star Tribune *delved into Minnesota's offensive contributions to Sunday's win:
The Vikings, from 2014-16, were 20-3 when they'd scored at least 21 points. It was a modest enough threshold to reach on a weekly basis, Zimmer reasoned, that a team built on a stifling defense should win most games when its offense does its part.
Seven games into the Vikings 2017 season, Zimmer's hypothesis appears correct. The only two games the Vikings have lost were the two they failed to reach double-digits. They'd already recorded wins this season where they scored 34, 29 and 23 points (and just for good measure, they threw in a victory where they only reached 20).
Case Keenum threw a pass that was tipped for an interception early in the game, and the Vikings lost two linemen to injuries, but Minnesota kept its offense rolling. The article stated, however, that touchdowns over field goals may be more crucial in future games.
There almost certainly will be another day where the Vikings need several touchdowns from their offense, especially as they begin a stretch of six road games in the final nine weeks of the season. Though they got six field goals from Kai Forbath, the kicker's third missed extra point of the season could have come back to burn them in a closer game.