Three ways the Minnesota Vikings could lose to the Cleveland Browns

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 09: Head coach Mike Zimmer of the Minnesota Vikings watches the action from the sidelines during the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on October 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 09: Head coach Mike Zimmer of the Minnesota Vikings watches the action from the sidelines during the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on October 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Vikings are in London to take on the Cleveland Browns at Twickenham Stadium. With the odds heavily in the Vikings favor, how could they lose the matchup?

The Minnesota Vikings are coming off their third consecutive victory, a 24-16 win over the Baltimore Ravens after taking down the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. The offense wasn’t very efficient scoring touchdowns against Baltimore, but set up kicker Kai Forbath for six field goal makes. In result, the Vikings kicker won NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors, leading Minnesota to sole possession of the NFC North lead at 5-2.

Going into Week 8, the Vikings have a GREAT chance to increase their win streak to four games and head into the Week 9 bye at 6-2. This isn’t so much a testament to how good Minnesota is rather a testament to how bad the 0-7 Cleveland Browns are. In fact, the Vikings are heavy favorites at 9.5 points over the winless Browns.

On a typical week, I’d go into the keys to a Vikings victory. But, considering the odds are so heavily in Minnesota’s favor, let’s take a look at three ways the Vikings could actually lose to the Browns. Of course, let’s hope these don’t actually take place…

1. The Vikings don’t show up.

The first path to a Minnesota loss is pretty clear. The Vikings don’t show up… literally. Whether they get caught up in traffic or decide to explore London, the Vikings hand the Browns their first W by forfeit.

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Most importantly for the Browns, rookie starting quarterback DeShone Kizer doesn’t get his confidence completely shattered by going against arguably the top defense in the NFL. I mean, he’s already thrown three touchdowns and 11 interceptions thus far, resulting in multiple benchings already this season. By actually playing Minnesota, the touchdown-interception ratio likely gets much worse and another benching is likely.

Additionally, the quarterback doesn’t have to worry about Everson Griffen, who’s had a sack in each game this year. Without stud left tackle Joe Thomas, Kizer likely experiences Griffen all over his back throughout the entirety of the game.

Fortunately, the Vikings just don’t show up in this case scenario, giving Kizer his first victory at quarterback as well as good health. The chances of this happening are zero, but clearly, it’s the best chance the Browns have to win.

2. The Browns tell Aaron Rodgers to suck it up, put on his big boy pants and play some football… for them.

Conveniently, the Packers on their bye week, so the Browns could try to work out something to use their starting quarterback for a week.

Yes, Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr put a devastating blow on Rodgers, breaking his collarbone two weeks ago. But, geez, he’s had plenty of time to heal since then and he may just need someone to push him back on the field. Although Rodgers is assuredly afraid of coming back too soon, he needs to put on the big boy pants and be pumped about an opportunity to get back at his NFC North rival. Not to mention, there can’t be a better way to do so than as a member of a winless team.

Of course, this isn’t a guaranteed victory for the Browns. While there’s no argument that Rodgers is an elite quarterback who always gives his team a chance to win, the Vikings defense has shut him down before. So, they very well could again. This is especially the case since Rodgers would have a weak Browns supporting cast surrounding him on offense.

Point is though, Rodgers gives the Browns an actual chance to win, even at less than 100 percent. So, get on the phone Browns… make something happen.

3. The NFL decides to send another team to London in place of the Browns.

By far the biggest long shot, yet why not make it happen Roger Goodell?

The Browns are awful and so is there chances of winning a game this season. Okay… that may be a little too far, but fact of the matter is, they are no competition for the Vikings. So, why not make a last minute change and bring in another team to play this game? At least, make it a competitive game, something the NFL likely wants in London.

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Here’s an idea… send the Philadelphia Eagles. At 6-1, they are the top team in the NFC with the Vikings coming in just below them. Seeing a matchup between the two top dogs in the NFC would be great for business, making for a much better matchup in London.

Better yet, the Browns head back to America and play the San Francisco 49ers, the team the Eagles are scheduled to play. Essentially, that game turns into a Toilet Bowl of sorts between two winless teams fighting to get their first W. In my mind, the ratings wouldn’t look too bad for that matchup either.  At the same time, the Browns have a better opportunity to win.

Sure, the Vikings’ chances of a loss are better in this case, but a victory would feel that much sweeter over a team like the Eagles. That being said, relying on Goodell to make something happen at this point is a lost cause… Sad day.

Next: 5 takeaways for the Vikings in win over the Ravens!

In all, the Vikings have a very, very good shot of getting the win over the Browns in London. In reality, I give the Vikings a 31-14 victory over the Browns, giving the Vikings a great feeling heading into their bye week. Skol Vikes!