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Bob Sansevere: Vikings have had lots of lows, but Sunday’s loss may be a new low

The Vikings should have tormented him all evening, forcing him into a massive amount of sacks, turnovers and deer-in-the-headlights throws. Instead, Rush did the tormenting, passing for 325 yards and two touchdowns. He won the game with a 5-yard pass to Amari Cooper in the corner of the end zone with 51 seconds to play.

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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins evades the rush of Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory in the first quarter Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Matt Blewett / USA Today Sports
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That was an extremely embarrassing loss for the Minnesota Vikings. They got beat by an obscure quarterback who has spent most of the past five seasons running scout teams.

They lost Sunday night’s game 20-16 to the Dallas Cowboys. And very likely any chance for a successful season was lost as well.

And unless there is some kind of miraculous turnaround, jobs also will be lost, or at least should be. Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman have had their shot and don’t deserve a crack at another season.

This game should have been easy for the Vikings.

The Cowboys have a high-powered offense when MVP candidate Dak Prescott is at quarterback. He’s got this calf thing and didn’t play.

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Cooper Rush started at quarterback. Cooper. Rush.

Ever hear of him before Friday, before word leaked that Prescott wasn’t likely to play?

Rush is the guy who’s buried on depth charts, a nobody who somehow finds a way to grab a roster spot each season.

The Vikings should have tormented him all evening, forcing him into a massive amount of sacks, turnovers and deer-in-the-headlights throws.

Instead, Rush did the tormenting, passing for 325 yards and two touchdowns. He won the game with a 5-yard pass to Amari Cooper in the corner of the end zone with 51 seconds to play.

Folks in Dallas will be talking about this game for years. As for Vikings fans, well, it’s just the latest in a sorry history of failures in games they’re supposed to win.

During the game, NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth nailed it when he said, “If they can’t beat the Dallas Cowboys, at home, with a backup quarterback, that’s a bit of a train wreck.”

Actually, it’s more than a bit.

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The Vikings fell to 3-4 with a hellish string of games coming up against the Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers and Green Bay Packers.

It was a hellish Halloween night, too. Rush saw to that.

He didn’t just find cracks in the Vikings’ secondary. Often, he found gaping openings, like his 73-yard touchdown pass to Cedric Wilson on a third-and-8 play in the third quarter.

The Cowboys lost their star quarterback and Rush stepped up in a big way. The Vikings lost Patrick Peterson and the other cornerbacks got scalded. Cam Dantzler, Bashaud Breeland and Mackensie Alexander took turns getting thumped.

“I got my first start. Waited a long time for it,” Rush told NBC’s Michelle Tafoya. “Played hard to the end. Got it done.”

Too many opponents get it done against the Vikings, which is why Zimmer also should be done. And Spielman, too.

This truly should have been an easy win. The Vikings were playing at home. They had won their last two games. They were coming off their bye and should have been fresh. They were facing an unknown backup quarterback. Everything titled in their favor.

But, of course, the Vikings did what they do way too often. They screwed up. They let a nobody become somebody.

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Rush hadn’t thrown a ball in a game since 2017, when he completed one of three passes for two yards.

Heading into this Halloween game, it was looking good for the Vikings. When news came out Friday that Prescott was unlikely to play, the Vikings saw the point spread go from them being an underdog to a favorite.

All the Vikings had to do was what those naive oddsmakers expected of them: Dominate an unknown quarterback.

You gotta know these Vikings by now. They have messed in the past when playing a backup quarterback. In 2019, for instance, Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky injures in shoulder in the opening drive and Chase Daniel comes in and beats the Vikings. There are other instances but, the point is, with the Vikings you have to expect the worst because that’s what is likely to happen.

So on a day when backup quarterbacks helped lift the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints to big wins, the Vikings allowed that trend to continue into the night.

“We’ve seen quarterbacks making their first start, they look like scaredy cats,” NBC play-by-play man Al Michaels said.

There really was nothing for Rush to be scared of. He was, after all, playing the Vikings.

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