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Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the Mailbag! Every Monday we’ll post several comments and/or questions as part of the Monday Morning Mailbag. Although we can’t post every comment or question, we will reply to every question submitted.

Click here to submit a comment or question to the Mailbag. Remember to include your name and town on the email. The questions below have been edited for clarity.

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Let’s talk Cheap Kirk Cousins Jersey. Distributed the ball, getting even production in catches and yards from multiple targets. Used his legs to extend drives. Hated the fumble, but no question he was the better QB on Sunday. He has been playing extremely well overall lately.

— Jeff Kilty in Sacramento, California

We’ll start this Mailbag with the starting quarterback, who had a great outing in Sunday’s win. He completed 34 of 45 passes for 307 yards with three scores and no interceptions. He had a passer rating of 115.7, his fourth straight game above 100.

He absolutely was money down the stretch for the Vikings, completing 12 of 13 passes for 136 yards with two scores on the final two drives.

There was a lot of talk about Cheap Teddy Bridgewater Jersey return to Minnesota this week, and rightfully so. But on Sunday, Cousins proved why the Vikings signed him back in 2018 and handed out a contract extension this offseason.

Yes, the fumble was a trouble spot as it was his second lost fumble in as many games. But he was blitzed on the play and didn’t have much time to react. And the way he responded late was incredible.

Cousins had plenty of help — more on that in a second — but he played and delivered like a franchise quarterback in the final 10 minutes against the Panthers.

And with no Cheap Adam Thielen Jersey, perhaps his best attribute was simply spreading the ball around. Cheap Bisi Johnson Jersey (74 yards), Cheap Justin Jefferson Jersey (70 yards and 2 TDs), Cheap Kyle Rudolph Jersey (68 yards) and Cheap Chad Beebe Jersey (63 yards and a score) each had seven catches on Sunday.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, that was just the second time in NFL history for a team to have four players with seven or more catches and at least 60 yards apiece, joining New Orleans on Dec. 23, 2012.

Cousins has gotten hot just when the Vikings have needed it most, as Minnesota won four of five games in November. The quarterback was red-hot in that month, completing 105 of 145 passes (72.4 percent) for 1,293 yards with 12 touchdowns and just one interception (that bounced off Thielen’s hands in Chicago).

We’ll see how the final five games play out for the Vikings — and we’ll get into playoff possibilities here shortly — but if Cousins keeps this up, perhaps Minnesota can make some noise down the stretch.

On any given Sunday! Two fumble returns allowed for touchdowns on offense … no quit. A muffed punt return … the defense held Carolina to a FG. Chad Beebe shook off that fumble with a TD grab. They could have quit but they fought on. This will help them moving forward.

— Gerald Goblirsch

Fire Zimmer. Trade Cousins.

— Terry Joyce

I included Terry’s email, which came through during Sunday’s dismal third quarter, because it highlights what a wild and weird season this has been for the Vikings.

Frame-by-Frame: Chad Beebe’s First Career Touchdown
View photo of Vikings WR Chad Beebe’s first career touchdown against the Panthers in Week 12.

To recap, the Vikings start 1-5, and everyone writes them off. Then comes a three-game win streak and praise from the national pundits about being back on track.

Then, a bitter loss to Dallas where Minnesota’s playoff hopes take a big hit again. But wait, a furious comeback win over the Panthers to keep the season alive and stay within one game of the NFC Wild Card race.

Game Photos: Vikings vs. Panthers
View game images as the Vikings take on the Carolina Panthers at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

I covered this back in the Mailbag in September, when things were trending downward, but you always know that Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer and his team are going to fight to the end. Zimmer is a gritty, old-school coach who hates to lose.

There’s a few reasons why seven of Minnesota’s 11 games have been decided by one score or less. The first is that the competitive balance feels as narrow as ever in the league, but the second is that Zimmer’s squad is always going to battle until the final seconds … much like we saw Sunday.

So, where does it leave us with five games to go?

With the Vikings at 5-6, they are currently in eighth place and one game behind the 6-5 Cardinals, who have lost three of four.

Minnesota’s main focus now is on a 1-10 Jacksonville team, while also rooting for Arizona to lose against the Los Angeles Rams next weekend.

If the Vikings can be 6-6 with four games to go, that sets up a potentially impactful final month of the season.

“Each week is week to week,” Zimmer said after Sunday’s win. “We’ve still got a lot of football left to play, still got a lot of good teams.

“We’ve just got to worry about ourselves and how we approach each week, how we have to do the things that we have to do and eliminate the mistakes that we made today,” Zimmer added. “We made too many mistakes and we’re very fortunate to win. ”

Absolutely happy about the win today. It’s all about play calling all season long on if we win or lose. As we saw in the fourth quarter, it is possible to win games, if we don’t stick too much to the running game. Although Cheap Dalvin Cook Jersey is marvelous, to be committed to the run makes us predictable. We saw this in all the games we lost and over a long time in this game.

In my opinion, we don’t need other players, except maybe some more improvement along the offensive line to go to the Super Bowl. We just need better play calling for the offense to surprise the opponent. To vary with passes at first or second down more often, gives room for the run.

I know Gary Kubiak is well-respected and his experience is huge. But do you maybe agree that he should think about the last quarter and modify his run-first attitude a little bit, and add some creativity? Thank you for answering all these questions with great patience. I like to read your comments … it’s one of the main reasons I’m visiting the Vikings website regularly.

— Matthias from Bad Schwalbach, Germany

Lots to get to in Matthias’ email, but I’ll start with his question about Kubiak’s run-first mentality. While that is Kubiak’s mindset, it’s also Zimmer’s, and a big reason why the Vikings have a penchant for running the ball most of the game. It also helps to have Dalvin Cook in the backfield.

With that said, the Vikings had to flip the script in the fourth quarter. On the final two touchdown drives, Minnesota called 18 total plays, one of which was a weird sack where Cousins tripped after having his foot stepped on by a teammate.

The other 17 plays included just four run plays. So while the Vikings seemed to abandon their run-first approach, it was because they had to. Minnesota would much rather prefer to get an early lead and control the ball and the clock on the ground.

If you ask me, Kubiak has done a good job this year. He’s relied on Cook a bit, but has also gotten Thielen and Jefferson involved plenty. It’s a tough job, no doubt, to feed perhaps the league’s best running back, while also spreading the ball around to those wide receivers, plus Rudolph and Irv Smith, Jr., when he’s healthy.

If you want to nitpick play calling, however, perhaps Carolina’s fourth-quarter selection bears mentioning. The Panthers had the lead for all but the final 46 seconds of the quarter and ran 18 plays before their final drive, which obviously required all passes. But on those first 18 plays of the fourth quarter, there were a whopping 14 pass plays.

As Zimmer said above, the Vikings were fortunate to win, and the Panthers late play calls likely had a small part in that.

But you take the wins however you can get them in the NFL, and Minnesota will do just that.

On to Jacksonville.

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EAGAN, Minn. – The Panthers have experienced ups and downs similar to the Vikings so far this season.

Carolina enters Sunday’s game 4-7, but the less-than-impressive record doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. Of the Panthers seven losses, four have been by one score or less – including three losses by four or fewer points.

The NFC South team is coming off a dominant 20-0 defeat of the Lions and may have All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey back in the lineup. McCaffrey, who in 2019 led the NFL with 2,392 yards from scrimmage, has only played in Weeks 1, 2 and 9 this season.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer spoke to Twin Cities media members Wednesday and emphasized the talented team he’s preparing to face at U.S. Bank Stadium this weekend.

“We’re getting ready to play a good Carolina team – a very, very good team. I’ve been very impressed with them,” Zimmer said. “Very young defensively, fly around to the ball, do a great job in situations.”

Zimmer mentioned a trio of “really good receivers that have great speed” in DJ Moore, Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel. He also emphasized that former Vikings quarterback Cheap Teddy Bridgewater Jersey is playing well in his first season as a starting quarterback since suffering a devastating knee injury in August 2016.

“McCaffrey and [Mike] Davis are both really good backs. We’re going to have to play really, really well to win,” he added.

Here are four other topics Zimmer covered during his session with media:

1. Respect for Davis

With McCaffrey missing substantial time this season, Davis has taken advantage of his opportunity with 111 carries for 449 yards and three rushing scores. He also has 49 catches for 305 yards and two touchdowns through the air.

Davis has spent time with four different teams – San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and Carolina – since entering the league in 2015 as a fourth-round draft pick. He’s currently on-pace for his best NFL season.

Journeyman or not, Zimmer won’t be counting Davis out.

“He does everything,” Zimmer said. “He catches the ball well out of the backfield, is good on the screens, he runs very, very hard, he’s elusive in the open field. I’ve been very impressed. He carries his pads forward.”

Through the Years: Vikings vs. Panthers
Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Panthers.

2. Facing a friend

In reference to Bridgewater, Zimmer was asked if it ever “feels normal” to game-plan against a player he’s been close to.

He shared that he’s been in touch with Bridgewater ever since he departed Minnesota as a free agent in 2018.

“Teddy and I have a great relationship. We’ve talked ever since he’s left,” Zimmer said. “When the schedule came out, I don’t know if he texted me or I texted him, but I told him I was rooting for him in 15 games, just not when we played them, and he basically said the same thing. I’m proud of what he’s done. He’s a great kid, great family.

“It is a little different when you’re as close to somebody, but I think Deion [Sanders] went and played with [Washington] after I coached him and things like that,” Zimmer continued. “You’re still trying to beat the heck out of him as best as you can.”

3. An update on Thielen’s status

The Vikings on Monday placed receiver Cheap Adam Thielen Jersey on the COVID-19/Reserve list.

Asked about Thielen’s status and whether he could be activated for Sunday’s game, Zimmer said he’s unsure.

“I don’t know, honestly. Obviously he’s in the COVID protocol, and we’ll just see,” Zimmer said. “When you get in these protocols, it’s always about, ‘What’s the next test, and the next test?’ So we’ll just have to see as the week goes on.”

If Thielen is unable to play against Carolina, that could create more targets for rookie Cheap Justin Jefferson Jersey, but Zimmer said there won’t be extra “responsibilities,” per se, for the rookie receiver.

“I don’t think so. There’s a lot on his plate now, the things that he’s doing and trying to do, and obviously we still don’t know about Adam,” Zimmer said. “It’s kind of hard to say, ‘Well, if Adam doesn’t play, you’re going to do all these different things, and if he does play, then you’re going to do this.’ ”

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4. Rolling with the punches

Minnesota was without wide receivers coach Andrew Janocko for last week’s game against the Cowboys. The previous week, the team traveled to Chicago without assistant offensive line coach Phil Rauscher.

Zimmer was asked about the challenges of adapting when abrupt (temporary) changes to the coaching staff occur.

“Yeah, it’s happened a couple of times, obviously. It adds to other guys’ duties that they have to do, responsibilities,” Zimmer said. “Fortunately, the ones that have missed have not been sick, so they’re able to do a lot of things virtually still.

“If these guys got really ill and sick and couldn’t do things, then obviously it would make it more difficult, but we have a plan in place for if I get [the virus] or whoever gets it,” he added.