Losing Faith in Mike Zimmer? Check the Numbers and R-E-L-A-X.
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If you think Mike Zimmer should be fired after what transpired during 2018-19, stop reading this article. That includes you, Randy.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_code _builder_version=”3.19.3″]
Vikings need to move on from the GM and Head Coach. https://t.co/bk40sGyAsD
— Realistic Randy (@realistic_randy) December 31, 2018
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- 1-2 record in the playoffs (including 38-7 in the NFC Championship game last year. I’m mentioning this so that Eagles fans won’t come swarming in to flood the comments)
- A few late game coaching decisions that have been questionable.
- Tough demeanor makes him tough to get along with (as in several different offensive coordinators)
- Tendency to call out players/assistant coaches to the media.
- The Vikings were expected to compete for a Super Bowl and fell short of making the playoffs
But to take this side of the argument and turn it into a call for his job, is just nonsense.
Let’s consider these variables as well:
- Zimmer has had 8 different starting quarterbacks since he took over in 2014, including losing Teddy Bridgewater a week before the start of the 2015 season.
- Zimmer almost lost his vision in one eye after detaching his retina in Chicago in 2016.
- Zimmer has had 4 different offensive coordinators. Norv Turner resigned midseason, Pat Shurmur left to take the Giants head coaching job and John DeFilippo was fired.
- Zimmer lost Sam Bradford and Dalvin Cook in 2017 and still managed to lead the team to 13-3.
- Blair Walsh missed the equivalent of a 2 foot putt in the playoffs in 2015.
Mike Zimmer is not the problem. If anything, Mike Zimmer has been part of the solution. Does anyone remember the wasteland this franchise was after 2009? I mean look at these defensive numbers and rankings. The 2013 defense was one of the worst in franchise history, if not the worst. But, like a hero in the night, enter Mike Zimmer.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_accordion _builder_version=”3.19.3″ hover_enabled=”0″ max_width_last_edited=”on|phone” max_width_phone=”100%” module_alignment=”center” body_font=”||||||||” toggle_font=”|700||on|||||”][et_pb_accordion_item title=”Vikings Defense Before Mike Zimmer” open=”on” _builder_version=”3.19.3″ title_text_shadow_horizontal_length=”0em” title_text_shadow_vertical_length=”0em” title_text_shadow_blur_strength=”0em” body_text_shadow_horizontal_length=”0em” body_text_shadow_vertical_length=”0em” body_text_shadow_blur_strength=”0em”]
|Year||YDS/GM||PASS YDS/GM||RUSH YDS/GM||PTS/GM||SZN RECORD|
|2009||305.5 (6th)||218.4 (19th)||87.1 (2nd!)||19.5 (10th)||12-4 record|
|2010||312.6 (8th)||210.4 (10th)||102.2 (9th)||21.8 (18th)||6-10 record|
|2011||358.2 (21st)||251.2 (26th)||107.0 (11th)||28.1 (31st)||3-13 record|
|2012||350.0 (16th)||244.3 (24th)||105.8 (11th)||21.8 (tied-14th)||10-6 record|
|2013||397.6 (31st)||287.2 (31st)||110.4 (16th)||30.0 (32nd)||somehow 5-10-1 record|
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|YEAR||YDS/GM||PASS YDS/GM||RUSH YDS/GM||PTS/GM||RECORD|
|2014||344.7 (14th-52.9 yard improvement)||223.3 (7th-63.9 yard improvement)||121.4 (25th-11 yards worse)||21.4 (11th-8.6 point improvement)||7-9|
|2015||344.2 (13th-0.5 yard improvement)||234.9 (12th-11.6 yards worse)||109.3 (17th-12.1 yard improvement)||18.9 (5th-2.5 point improvement)||11-5|
|2016||314.9 (3rd-29.3 yard improvement)||207.9 (3rd-27 yard improvement)||106.9 (20th-2.4 yard improvement)||19.2 (6th-0.3 points worse)||8-8|
|2017||275.9 (1st-39 yard improvement)||192.4 (2nd-15.5 yard improvement)||83.6 (2nd-23.3 yard improvement)||15.8 (1st-3.4 point improvement)||13-3|
|2018||309.7 (4th-33.8 yards worse)||196.3 (3rd-3.9 yards worse)||113.4 (15th-29.8 yards worse)||21.3 (9th-5.6 points worse)||8-7-1|
Folks! Mike Zimmer has had one season in which his defense didn’t improve in at least three statistical categories. These defensive numbers are even more impressive when you compare them to the average game splits for NFC North quarterbacks before Zimmer came to town.
All three tables below show the numbers for each NFC North QB both BEFORE and AFTER Mike Zimmer took over:[/et_pb_text][et_pb_accordion _builder_version=”3.19.3″][et_pb_accordion_item title=”Aaron Rodgers Before/After Zimmer” open=”on” _builder_version=”3.19.3″ title_text_shadow_horizontal_length=”0em” title_text_shadow_vertical_length=”0em” title_text_shadow_blur_strength=”0em” body_text_shadow_horizontal_length=”0em” body_text_shadow_vertical_length=”0em” body_text_shadow_blur_strength=”0em”]
|Jay Cutler/Mitch Trubisky||Date||Comp||Att||Yds||TD||INT|
He has humiliated the Vikings defense more times than I’d care to remember, with 26 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions in 11 games before Zimmer took over. But look at some of the numbers since Zimmer implemented his defense (and yes I know he has still thrown for 15 TDs and just 2 INTs).
Numbers that Pop:
Rodgers throws for 0.7 fewer touchdowns per game against Mike Zimmer defenses than he did before Zimmer took over as head coach. His average yards per game have plummeted from 282.5 (ON AVERAGE) to just under 214 and he also has only one 300 yard game during the Zimmer era and just three games over 250 yards. Also the numbers are skewed a little bit due to the “Collar Bone Game” when Rodgers left early in the first quarter after only attempting four passes. All things considered the Zimmer Effect has had the game’s best quarterback frustrated much more often than before Zim came to town.
Stafford’s had an interesting career with the Lions but he’s still been one of the upper echelon quarterbacks from a numbers perspective. That especially applied to games against the Vikings before Mike came to town. Even in losses, he’d routinely carve us up. Then came Mike Zimmer. Look at the difference!
Numbers that Pop:
Stafford is averaging 65 yards less per game against Zimmer defenses! His TD/INT ratios are pretty much identical pre-zim to now, but Stafford has failed to throw a touchdown pass against the Vikings in 3 of their last 4 matchups. And after topping 3oo yards four times against the Vikings before Zimmer took over, he has yet to do so since.
Stafford’s topped 25o yards 3 times in 10 career matchups. In fact, Zimmer’s defense has more 10-sack games against Stafford than he has 300 yard passing games against them, and that 10 sack game came against a Lions offensive line that was one of the best in the league. So Zimmer has frustrated Aaron Rodgers while making life miserable for Matthew Stafford… who’s next?
Jay Cutler/Mitch Trubisky:
Jay Cutler was another noted Vikings killer during his time in Chicago, including an overtime win against Brett Favre in 2009 that screwed the Vikings out of homefield advantage. Ever the gunslinger, Cutler had quite a few more turnovers than the previous two divisional opponents but still threw for plenty of yards and touchdowns. That was until Zimmer took over.
There are a lot of factors as to why Chicago has struggled so much vs Zimmer. First, they’ve been mostly garbage. But, just at the TD/INT ratio pre-Zimmer vs post-Zimmer. It’s pretty staggering.
Numbers that Pop:
The Bears touchdown production has been cut in half even though they’ve played one additional game during Zimmer’s tenure. Jay Cutler managed ONE 300 yard game vs Mike and the combination of him and Mitchell Trubisky have just ONE OTHER game over 250 yards. Also, the Bears have only two multiple-touchdown games vs Zim’s D.
One thing is clear. Mike Zimmer has made life a lot more difficult for the rest of the division since he became head coach. Let’s also give Zim credit for the defensive players he’s developed since he got here:
- Harrison Smith
- Xavier Rhodes
- Anthony Barr
- Danielle Hunter
- Trae Waynes (better than most Vikings fans want to admit)
- Eric Kendricks
- Mackenzie Alexander (fantastic last 10 weeks of the season in 2018-19)
- Holton Hill (played extremely well when given snaps
And as for those playoff losses? Consider the circumstances:
1/10/2016 (Wildcard round vs Seattle)
The Vikings lost Zimmer’s first playoff game 10-9 in frigid temperatures at TCF Bank Stadium. Blair Walsh missed a 27 yard field goal with 20 seconds left on the clock (after his defense held Seattle scoreless for 3 quarters).
Adrian Peterson had a debilitating fumble that allowed Seattle the chance to hit the go ahead field goal. Yet, Teddy Bridgewater led the Vikings down field well within normal (27 yds) field goal range.
What part of that is Zimmer’s fault? SCORE MORE POINTS!
Ok, sure the best way to prevent that situation is to keep scoring, but Seattle wasn’t getting anything done either and Walsh had nailed every kick he attempted the rest of the game. So call me crazy but Zimmer was well within his right to expect his kicker to make one more kick and win the damn game.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_code _builder_version=”3.19.3″]
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer on Blair Walsh's missed field goal to win game: 'It's a chip shot. He's got to make it.'
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) January 10, 2016
1/21/2018 (NFC Championship Game vs Philadelphia)
Ok, this one you can have. The Vikings took a 7-0 lead and fell flat from there. Did they exhaust too much energy in hanging on to beat New Orleans in the divisional round? Maybe. Was Philadelphia better in key areas (Eagles DL vs Vikings OL and Eagles OL vs Vikings DL)? Most definitely. But we saw what happened and this is one performance that I can’t defend Zimmer on. Philly was better from start to finish and the team really fell apart as the game wore on. To his credit though, Zimmer took the fall for not having his team ready to play.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_code _builder_version=”3.19.3″]
#Vikings coach Mike Zimmer talks about defense collapsing in the playoffs, namely at Philadelphia. And, no, he won't be attending the Super Bowl. Will be at his ranch in northern Kentucky. https://t.co/roaLWJ0Crx
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) January 24, 2018
Enter Kirk Cousins, and the Vikings didn’t live up to expectations, but Zimmer vowed, after the season ended, to get the Vikings back to the level they have been at for the past few years. And I believe he will do just that.
So please stop with the insanity. Mike Zimmer has been a very successful coach since he started with the Vikings. Just ask the rest of the quarterbacks in the division if they’d like Mike out of Minnesota. Their answers would tell you all you need to know.
Zimmer isn’t going anywhere, and lets keep it that way.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_code _builder_version=”3.19.3″]Seth Toupal | Minnesota Sports FanFollow @sethtoups[/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]