MINNEAPOLIS – There’s no extra questioning whether or not the Minnesota Vikings are higher than their 1-5 document.
The Vikings’ 40-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons is reflective of a group that doesn’t have it collectively. A group that regarded prefer it wasn’t able to play on Sunday -– in any respect. A group whose season is within the tank because it heads into their bye week.
If Minnesota wished to maintain its playoff hopes alive, a win in opposition to the hapless Falcons, who this week went by means of teaching and normal supervisor modifications and COVID-19 scare that closed down its facility after dropping their first 5 video games of the season, was the place to begin.
As an alternative, the Vikings head into their bye with numerous self-reflecting on their to-do checklist. A group that went half-in with a rebuild this offseason whereas executing strikes that might counsel they purchased into their very own win now philosophy was met with a actuality examine within the first half of the season.
Minnesota found out it must be all or nothing. Committing to a rebuild was the trail that made probably the most sense, and the Vikings came upon shortly of their first six video games of the season that they will’t have their cake and eat it, too.
Now there might be penalties because the Vikings attempt to overcome their very own hubris.
QB Breakdown: Kirk Cousins threw three interceptions within the first half, the one time he’s ever completed that in his profession, and completed 24-of-36 passing for 343 yards and three late touchdowns when the sport was already out of attain.
The optics that include benching the quarterback you simply handed a two-year, $66 million extension in March are actually unhealthy. However what did the Vikings stand to lose, particularly in the event that they wished to truly stage a legit comeback within the second half? The offense wasn’t responding each time they took the sector after a drive resulted in despair following an interception, a fast three-and-out or a turnover on downs. Minnesota had one assertion drive your complete recreation that ended with Justin Jefferson stretching for an 11-yard landing within the third quarter. This was Jefferson’s third recreation with 100 receiving yards this season. The final Vikings rookie to document three or extra of these? Randy Moss in 1998. Jefferson is a star and provides this group hope that they nailed their seek for their subsequent stud playmaker.
However nobody ought to be ok with the play at quarterback and the way inconsistent it has been this season. How may Cousins look so good in Seattle (apart from a horrible third quarter) and so dreadful in opposition to the Falcons?
Cousins doesn’t look comfy behind his offensive line, even with the change the Vikings made in Week 6 with second-round rookie Ezra Cleveland beginning for Dru Samia (wrist) at proper guard. Would Sean Mannion have been a greater match? Who is aware of. However once more, what did the Vikings must lose? And higher but, if the decision-makers who introduced Mannion in to again up Cousins don’t belief him to do this, get a greater back-up QB. If Mannion is in Minnesota merely to assist Cousins put together for video games and never be a viable choice ought to issues go so awry on offense, like they did on Sunday, modifications have to be made.
The potential fall out: How busy this bye week will probably be for the Vikings relies on possession’s thought course of.
Will Mike Zimmer survive the worst begin of his profession as a head coach? The Vikings haven’t opened a season with a 1-5 document since 2013. After that season, the Wilf’s reduce ties with former head coach Leslie Frazier and ushered in a brand new period beneath Zimmer.
Certain, Zimmer’s protection has been crushed by accidents, however how lengthy does that proceed to be the excuse for poor play? Whereas Julio Jones is among the greatest receivers of the final decade, the Vikings allowed him eight catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns and a pair of touchdowns to Calvin Ridley and Hayden Hurst. Minnesota has to ask itself: Is that this merely a personnel drawback? Or are there different areas that deserve heavier criticism?
It’s onerous to see Zygi and Mark Wilf wanting to chop bait with Zimmer and normal supervisor Rick Spielman after giving each three-year contract extensions this offseason, however the query must be requested. How can they probably be OK with the best way this season has performed out after they bestowed so many sources into the assumption that they wanted to maintain this factor going as a way to attain their final purpose? When the Wilf’s locked themselves into each Zimmer and Spielman by means of the 2023 season, they locked this franchise into extra of the identical from the previous few seasons, which resulted in getting as shut as they’ve been in a long time to a Tremendous Bowl in 2017 however not having the ability to match that since.
A firing for one or each admits failure and the unsuitable choice, nevertheless it’s attainable the Wilf’s need to make modifications to the management of this group after the best way this season began, even with as many monetary sources tied into Zimmer, Spielman, Cousins and Dalvin Prepare dinner. This might find yourself being a really energetic bye week in Minnesota.