Keenum also hasn’t had to carry the offensive load himself thanks to Jerrick McKinnon and Latavius Murray stepping up to fill the void in the running game created by Cook’s absence. The Vikings are averaging more rushing yards in the past eight games (130.2) than when Cook was in the backfield (108).
“It’s on me. I dropped it,” Diggs said. “I dropped the ball, and I gave it to them. It’s on us. All the plays we have the opportunity to make, we have to make. We left a lot of plays out there.”
The strengths, discipline and fundamentals Minnesota is known for let the team down. Keenum did not.
Everything was caving in on Keenum, but he hung tough and improvised to keep the Vikings in the game. The pressure the Panthers could apply against a one-dimensional attack was just too much to overcome in the end.
Eli Manning would inherit two good starting wide receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, and possibly a special young left tackle in Garett Bolles. He can still get the ball out quickly to limit sacks and turnovers, which would be a big help to a Broncos defense that is still strong, but less dominant than it was when it helped Peyton ride off with a second ring.
Beyond the convenient storyline of deja vu, there’s some sense to Eli getting a Mile High to finish his career.
The Bengals took control of the AFC North with a victory at Heinz Field, a game in which wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh scored two touchdowns. Housh, however, made his biggest statement by wiping his cleats on a Steelers “Terrible Towel” before heading to the locker room. “It used to be Pittsburgh’s time,” fellow Bengals receiver Chad Johnson said afterward in this Cincy Jungle article. “Now it’s Cincinnati’s time.”