by Mike Marek
Most seasons the Vikings play with our emotions. It’s a back-and-forth teasing until they ultimately fade from existence only to re-emerge again every fall like the colors in the bluffs. This year, they lasted until the first offensive play of week six, when Kirk Cousins launched an unforgivable interception into the arms of an also-ran Atlanta secondary. From that moment on Vikings fans have been looking at upcoming Sundays as opportunities to travel, do housework, or to watch the RedZone channel. The Vikings have officially died for the year 2020.
When you look at the 2020 Vikings’ campaign you can point at two areas where things have gone catastrophically wrong. The quarterback and the defense. Kirk Cousins has managed to bring the Vikings to defeat with his league-leading 10 interceptions through six games. Kirk has been, in one word, atrocious. He has been unable to convert on third down to keep the offense on the field, he looks skittish as ever in the pocket, and the sad thing is he has arguably the best running back in the league to back him up along with a pair of wide receivers that are the envy of the league. Kirk, it doesn’t get much better than this for a quarterback. If you can’t make it here, it might be time to hang up the cleats.
Last week I thought the defense was on an upswing. They ended up preventing the Seahawks from converting on a single third down, they followed up an impressive performance by allowing an abhorrent Atlanta offense to come in and put up a 40-point performance on them. Yes, I understand that they were not helped out by Cousins’ three interceptions, however, allowing four passing touchdowns to a quarterback whom hadn’t thrown one in the previous 11 quarters is inexcusable. Luckily Vikings fans are headed to a break in the form of a bye week.
With the bye week, Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman have agreed to go on a retreat to figure out how to save their collective jobs. They are going to an undisclosed location and are locking themselves in a room until they can figure their way out of this. Word is that Spielman has been carrying around a Magic 8 ball all season. Ever since the Vikings lost to Atlanta, he keeps asking it if he and Zimmer will be with the Vikings next season. “Outlook not so good” keeps popping up. If the Magic 8 ball is correct, Zimmer and Spielman may never be heard from again.
In my opinion, to save both of their jobs, Zimmer needs to put together a run against three straight divisional opponents. If he is able to put together three straight wins, his future in purple is secure. If he wins two out of three, I believe he has a fighting chance to stick around depending on how the rest of the season turns out; one out of three or worse means an in-year termination, which would cascade the Vikings into the coaching carousel mix for the first time since 2014 — which may be the best thing to happen to the Vikings this season.