“If you’re going to ask a question on anything, just ask it! I don’t need your opinion on it.”
Head Coach Mike Zimmer cut a frustrated figure when speaking to the press after he saw the Vikings blow a fourth quarter lead against the Titans. Seeing his team stumble into the 2020 season and face a season ender against Houston this weekend has put immense pressure on Zimmer.
A plethora of problems have arisen during the 2020 Vikings season and the solution is still unknown after Zimmer’s press conference outburst.
The Vikings enter this weekend 0-3 and are yet to pick up a victory after reaching the playoffs last year.
“Were not making plays, we aren’t throwing well. I’m not sure why” head coach Zimmer stated after the Vikings absent performance in Indianapolis. Last year’s offensive co-ordinator Kevin Stefanski left for Cleveland in the offseason giving Gary Kubiak the reigns. But with under 15 minutes of possession time in the whole game in week two the scrutiny came.
“We don’t have anyone else to blame but ourselves” said Kirk Cousins after the opening week loss to Green Bay. Cousins stats show a far cry from the Quarterback which lead Minnesota to the playoffs in 2019. Cousins threw 6 interceptions in 2019 and has already matched that after three games in 2020 after a multimillion-dollar extension.
The offensive line has also been under fire from both fans and media after giving up back to back safeties to start the season. Fuel was added this weekend when centre Garrett Bradberry botched a snap in the final drive for Minnesota.
Head Coach Zimmer’s pride and joy of his tenure has been his defence. After three games the Vikings have given up 102 points which is unheard of in the Zimmer era. The reason is possibly a mass exodus of Cornerbacks in the offseason which left Minnesota inexperienced in the secondary.
The decision to mainly draft rookies was down to Rick Spielmann and head coach Zimmer. That decision has been at the detriment to the Vikings with talented rookies Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler struggling to get to NFL speed.
“The Vikings’ defense simply cannot stop anything that matters, whether it’s run or pass. It’s hard to believe that’s a Mike Zimmer defense” journalist Vinnie Iyer highlighted the stark contrast from years past.
The defensive line hasn’t shown up even after trading for star end Yannick Ngakoue. The line has only registered one sack in two weeks (one of the worst in the NFL). “These guys have to do what they’re supposed to do” said Zimmer when questioned about defensive struggles.
Opt-Outs and injuries.
The unprecedented times that Covid-19 has brought affected everybody in the NFL at times questioning if a season was going to happen. So, due to current circumstance players had the ability to opt-out and all preseason was cancelled.
Viking’s made a big money move in the offseason for defensive tackle Michael Pierce. However, with his asthma and the health risks involved he chose to opt-out. A gaping hole appeared in the defensive line and this has been shown throughout the opening weeks.
Lack of pre-season games meant rustiness was a key factor during training camp. A haul of injuries has arisen in 2020 for both the Vikings and the NFL. Line-backer Anthony Barr out for the season and most corners injured have weakened Minnesota.
The consensus Vikings best player is defensive end Danielle Hunter. He is yet to appear within three weeks after being placed on injury reserve. Mike Zimmer underplayed Hunters injury in the offseason “Danielle just has a slight tweak in his neck.”. This “tweak” has been reported as a herniated disk and has Hunter possibly side-lined for much of the 2020 season.
Head Coach Zimmer.
The final finger to point the blame for fans has been head coach Mike Zimmer. A random outburst in the weekends press conference at a journalist highlighted Zimmer’s anger.
“The identity of this team hasn’t been what it has been these past six years”. Zimmer is yet to find the answer to the problems 2020 has thrown at him. The decision to let most experienced players walk in the offseason baffled fans. Yet, this Minnesota team is still in its infancy its questioned whether Zimmer will see it grow.
Over the opening weeks Zimmer has been criticised for his play calling and general poor performances. Though, fans have become impatient at the Head Coach for his coaching style and play calling.
Vikings fans anger at Zimmer has been evident for example Andy Carlson “Teflon dictator, where nothing sticks to him. Never takes responsibility for anything and constantly throws his players under the bus”