Is Mike Zimmer the problem in Minnesota?

By: Abby Altman

Image taken from: profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

To put it simply, yes. The Vikings are sitting rather uncomfortably at 3-3, 6 weeks into the NFL season. The team is loaded both on offense and defense, and aside from a questionable kicker, should have no reason to not be above .500. 

Last season, the Vikings went a disappointing 7-9. Most of the blame for this record was placed on the shoulders of Kirk Cousins, which is proving itself false this season. 

Cousins has a 69% completion rate through 6 games this season, averaging 294 yards per game. His leadership has soared this year, looking more connected to everyone except his coaches. 

The Minnesota Vikings should not have 3 losses. Many key players are leading the team to impressive stats, that should be helping the team soar to potentially a 5-1 record. The wide receiver trio, Thielen, Jefferson, and Osborn, have combined for 1,200 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. On the rushing side of things, Cook and Mattison have filled in nicely for each other, with Cook having 366 yards in 4 games, and Mattison with 225 yards in the 2 games Cook did not play. 

On defense, things are looking much better than recent years. Notable stars this season have been Erik Kendricks, Harrison Smith, Danielle Hunter, and Everson Griffin. These starters have a combined 89 tackles and 10 sacks. 

Mike Zimmer is a defensive coach. He’s been defensive coordinator for the Bengals, Falcons, and Cowboys in his years in the NFL. He’s been head coach for the Vikings since 2014, with a fairly decent track record. Since Mike Zimmer’s reign began back in 2014, the Vikings have gone 67-50, which puts them at .572. 

Previous seasons, including one of the most successful seasons for the Vikings in recent years, have been partially led by former Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski. Stefanski is currently head coach for the Cleveland Browns, who are 4-3, with the Vikings being one of their wins. Stefanski had been replaced by Gary Kubiak at OC. Kubiak left at the end of last year, and his sone Clint is now OC. This is not helping to make better play calls. He and Zimmer have been major problems, especially against Cleveland and Detroit this year. 

If you watch this season carefully, you can tell that Zimmer doesn’t know how to properly run an offense. He is far too conservative when it comes to moving the ball, which has resulted many times in bringing out the punting or kicking squad, which doesn’t end well a lot of the time, but Minnesota kickers are another story. 

Mike Zimmer doesn’t manage his team correctly, and plays too conservatively. In the NFL, you need to play to win. Zimmer is just trying not to lose. Can he put more trust in his team for these next 10 games to put his team in position to make the playoffs? That remains to be seen, but as of right now, Mike Zimmer is the problem in Minnesota. 

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