Balance missing early in Vikings’ loss to Chiefs

Published 2:06 am Tuesday, November 5, 2019

EAGAN, Minn. — Facing the 30th-ranked run defense in the NFL and featuring the league’s top rusher in Dalvin Cook, the Minnesota Vikings opened Sunday’s game at Kansas City with three straight passes.

Kirk Cousins overthrew Cook on a first-down screen. There was a missed connection with an open Adam Thielen on second down before the third-down pass sailed over the head of receiver Laquon Treadwell.

An offense that had found its footing with a balanced attack in four straight wins was off the mark early in a 26-23 loss.

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“I thought we threw the ball a lot early,” Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer said Monday. “Talking about starting fast, we go the first three incomplete passes.”

The Vikings strayed from their identity of the four straight wins, perhaps buoyed by Cousins’ strong performance.