Football

What’s Up With The Vikings?

Vikings Offense
AP PHOTO/JIM MONE

The Minnesota Vikings could easily be a 5-3 team, with a roster this good. The Vikings offense is stacked with talented players like Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, and Adam Thielen. There have even been surprising newcomers, like KJ Osborn and Kene Nwangwu. Despite all of this, the Vikings are somehow 3-5. They will likely miss the playoffs. After suffering numerous heartbreaking loses this season, head coach Mike Zimmer now finds his job in jeopardy. So what has gone wrong with this team?The answer is complicated.

Offense Caught Sleeping

The Vikings offense has shown a similar pattern all season. After a white hot opening drive, they’ll fall asleep and fail to move the ball down the field after multiple drives. Their most recent game against the Ravens is a perfect example of that. After scoring touchdowns on their first 2 drives, the Vikings offense wouldn’t score another touchdown until the 4th quarter. This is truly baffling to watch, for any football fan. With elite receivers like Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, the Vikings should not be struggling to move the ball this much. Touchdowns should come easy for Kirk Cousins, who is one of the best deep ball passers in the league. Why is the Vikings offense struggling to move the ball this much? Look no further than the offensive coordinator.

Truly Offensive Play-Calling

The Vikings have had a different offensive coordinator every year, since they signed Kirk Cousins. This year it’s Klint Kubiak. This is Klint’s first shot as an offensive coordinator and the flaws are evident. Kirk Cousins has proven in the past he’s an elite play action quarterback. This year, the Vikings have called play action almost never. On top of that, the Vikings offense refuses to put the ball in the hands of it’s best player. Justin Jefferson has only 9 targets the past two games. What might be most infuriating is the Vikings long-term problem of calling a screen pass on third down. It’s clear that this offense has no identity and zero direction. A part of the blame must rest on Klint Kubiak’s shoulders. But as a first year play-caller who was hired because of his last name, how much can we really blame Klint?

The Defensive Head Coach

At the top of the Vikings pyramid rests Mike Zimmer, who deserves almost all of the blame for what has gone wrong this season. A team that is this good should be fired up every game. Instead, players are frustrated and tired. Adam Thielen has been the most vocal about the players’ frustration. What’s even more confounding is Mike Zimmer’s excuses when he’s asked about this team’s failings. This clip from a recent press conference is one example.

This isn’t the first time Zimmer has made excuses for his defense. Yet when asked about the offense, he has no problem throwing them under the bus. Zimmer has shown an unwillingness to take control of the whole team the entire team he’s been in Minnesota. This kind of attitude gives Mike Zimmer an excuse when the offense fails to be efficient. It simply isn’t his fault because he’s a defensive coordinator that is paid head coach money.

How Do The Vikings Move On?

So how do the Vikings repair this team for the 2022 season? With so many problems, the solution isn’t simple. Multiple people should and will most likely be fired at the end of the season. Ownership should start with firing Mike Zimmer and Klint Kubiak. There’s a culture problem in their locker room and the fault is their’s alone. Kirk Cousins would also be a massive cap hit for this team in 2022. Cousins has shown he can’t win in big situations, so the Vikings should look to trade him after this season. For the rest of this season, the Vikings should get the ball to their play makers as much as possible. Throw the ball to Justin Jefferson as often as you can and make Dalvin Cook earn his paycheck. If they can do that, they might just have a chance to save a dismal season.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

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