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For the second straight season, the Minnesota Vikings won’t be going to the playoffs. That truth was set in stone following Sunday’s 37-10 loss to the rival Green Bay Packers.
The Vikings are now 7-9 and their season-finale vs. the Chicago Bears is now meaningless. (Unless you count draft position, something about which the Vikings weren’t hoping to care.)
This marks the first time during coach Mike Zimmer’s tenure the Vikings have missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons. But that’s not all.
The Vikings have actually missed the playoffs three of the past four years, failing to surpass the .500 mark in either of the past two. So it’s more than just Zimmer who’s supposedly on the hot seat. You can throw in general manager Rick Spielman, too.
Here is what Ian Rapoport of NFL.com wrote:
“After a down year in 2020, the Vikings entered the season needing to improve. Instead, it’s been a roller-coaster of emotions, with the latest blow coming with Kirk Cousins testing positive for COVID-19 and missing Week 17.
“Mike Zimmer appears to be one of the coaches whose fate has not yet been decided, per sources informed of his situation. Winning out and making the playoffs would go a long way toward solidifying his status. Miss the playoffs — for the fifth time in eight seasons — and it would be a decision left to Minnesota’s ownership.”
Yes, Rapoport wrote that before Sunday’s loss.
Prior to the game against the Packers, the Vikings had actually outscored opponents by an average of 12 points — despite their 7-8 record. So you would think that might work in Zimmer’s favor. But they also had allowed more points in the final two minutes of a half than any team, not to mention have been penalized more than any team in football.
Fair or not, those type of failures are often pointed directly at the coach.
And let’s not forget the Vikings also lost to the lowly Detroit Lions, as well as the Dallas Cowboys when someone named Cooper Rush was filling in for an injured Dak Prescott at quarterback.
Zimmer will likely get to coach the Vikings next week against the Bears, and Spielman will still be the GM.
Beyond that, though … well, you can’t blame the Vikings’ higher-ups if they decide that’s it time to start thinking a change may be necessary.