The Minnesota Vikings have been one of the more infuriating and confusing teams in the NFL now 13 weeks through the regular season schedule. The Vikings have lost some very winnable games, while also winning some games they arguably shouldn’t have won or where underdogs going into. Yet, Minnesota entered Week 13 against the Detroit Lions with a chance to reach the NFC Playoffs while sitting right in the heart of the postseason race in the conference. The Vikings entered a game against a NFC North opponent who had yet to win a game, only to have that change and Detroit pull out a last-second victory to secure win number one. Minnesota should not have lost in Week 13 on the road, especially against a Lions squad that is the worst in the league. That loss not only puts the Vikings in a tough position to reach the playoffs, but it should also mean the official end of the head coach (Mike Zimmer) of the purple and gold either in-season or after the regular season concludes.
Week 13 Minnesota Vikings Loss Should Cost Mike Zimmer His Job
Another Ugly Loss in Detroit
It would be one thing if the Week 13 loss was the first time the Vikings fell in an ugly fashion to this point in the regular season. But unfortunately, that’s not the case at all. Minnesota has dropped at least a handful of games in brutal ways, proving it just doesn’t learn from those situations or the coaching staff just doesn’t have the team prepared as it should be going into those games.
Look at the past losses for the Vikings this season. First, you have the Week 1 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and the Week 2 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, both of which were one possession, last-second losses. Then the Week 5 “win” against the Lions that Minnesota was lucky to come out victorious in. Then the Week 8 no-show on Sunday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys, followed by the one-possession, winnable games on the road in Week 9 against the Baltimore Ravens and in Week 10 against the San Francisco 49ers.
This team has a few seasons worth of disappointing games that have taken place already this year. Something is clearly not working, and it is increasingly becoming apparent that a change of voice at the top of the coaching change could be the difference maker in turning those disappointments into positives.
Not the First Example of Disappointment Against Lions
Not only was the Week 13 ugly loss an addition to other games where Minnesota has come up short in typical Vikings fashion, but it is also the second example of the year where Minnesota made Detroit look much better than a previously winless team.
Before Week 13 in Detroit, the Vikings and Lions faced off for the first time of the season in Week 5 in Minnesota. That game resulted in a win for Minnesota, but it almost felt like that game was more of a loss than an actual win after the fact.
For a majority of that game, the Vikings held a lead against the Lions, but didn’t step on the gas to pull away and instead settled while looking like they were coasting over the final few quarters. That resulted in Detroit battling back into the game and even taking a one-point lead in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, only to result in Vikings kicker Greg Joseph bailing out Minnesota with a game-winning field goal to seal a 19-17 victory and avoid a disastrous loss.
Minnesota couldn’t repeat that in Week 13 and the disastrous loss finally took place while now looking like the laughing stock of the league as the team who gave up the first win to a team who many thought might go winless the rest of the season. The disappointment against Detroit isn’t a new thing to Minnesota and its fans, and it finally caught up to Zimmer and the Vikings on Sunday.
The disappointment has been building for the last few years in Minnesota with Mike Zimmer at the helm of the team. Some of his decision-making has also becoming growingly concerning and questionable, from in-game decisions and adjustments, to player personnel decisions, to coaching decisions, to scheming decisions, to the way he has dealt with the media at points.
For those reasons, it’s time for the Vikings to part ways with the old school mentality head coach and start things fresh for the first time since Zimmer took over at the helm in 2014. Zimmer has done some great things for Minnesota and most notably revamped and improved the defensive unit into becoming one of the top groups in the NFL on an annual basis, and those accomplishments are worth noting and recognizing.
But it’s time for Minnesota to part ways with its head coach. And the latest loss against a winless team is an outcome that losses people their jobs. If that does indeed happen, whether it’s during the season or after the year that will likely end without a playoff appearance once again for the Vikings, Mike Zimmer should be the first one to go while ending his tenure at the head of the purple and gold’s coaching staff.