Vikings and Fanbase Deserve Better Than Mike Zimmer and OC Nepotism

Photo: Chuck Cook – USA TODAY Sports

Yes, that just happened. The Dallas Cowboys, with a backup QB nobody knew existed 72 hours ago, just walked into a frenzied US Bank Stadium and defeated the Minnesota Vikings 20-16 on Sunday Night Football. Hopefully, you were smart enough to bet the under.

You’ve heard of teams “beating themselves” before. But tonight, the Vikings were beaten by their own coaching staff. Most notably, their head coach Mike Zimmer and offensive coordinator, Klint Kubiak. But let’s be honest, Zimmer is running the defense and controlling the offense.

He may not be calling the plays on that side of the ball but he dictates the type of game they play, which is one of extreme caution. Zimmer isn’t about to trust a rookie OC to take full control of the offense and it shows. On the field, Kubiak continues to get outcoached by defensive coordinators, especially as games progress. It’s like they’re playing chess while Klint plays checkers. Last night, the Dallas defense looked like they were in the Vikings huddle.

Minnesota’s uber-talented roster and too loyal for their own good fanbase deserves better. So does the Wilf family.

Mike Zimmer still doesn’t know how to head coach

Mike Zimmer has done some egregious things during his tenure as the Minnesota Vikings head coach. Hell, I wrote about his stupidity just a couple weeks ago. His end of half management has become a running joke amongst the fanbase. But he took his game management incompetence to another level on Sunday night.

It started in the first half, when Zimmer decided not to use his final timeout with 25 seconds remaining after a Kirk Cousins scramble couldn’t get out of bounds. Rookie wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette didn’t know where to line up and the clock kept running. By the time Cousins finally snapped the ball and threw an incompletion, the game clock was down to 00:01 left in the half. Zim’s final timeout still in his pocket.

Would the head coach ever forget to call a timeout if his defense needed one? Funny you ask because he provided an answer at the end of the 2nd half.

It gets worse

With under two minutes left to play, the Vikings leading 16-13 and Dallas threatening to score, Zimmer’s lack of game management skills reared its ugly head again. This time, the incompetence hit all-time peak levels. Mike was determined to keep the Cowboy offense out of the endzone because he was hoping to force them into a game-tying field goal with OT as the worst-possible outcome.

Good idea. Except that Zim was so concerned about Cooper Rush scoring a TD on that final drive, he called all three of his timeouts in a two-play stretch. He called so many TO’s that the refs flagged him for delay of game. Turns out it’s illegal to call two-straight without a play being run in-between.

That delay of game call turned 3rd and 16 into 3rd and 11 for Dallas. They’d pick up the first down thanks to poor tackling by Anthony Barr, forcing Zimmer to call his final timeout. The next play was a touchdown from Rush to Cooper, which left Kirk Cousins 51 seconds and ZERO timeouts to drive the offense down the field and score a TD… or lose.

They’d lose, falling to 3-4 and all but handing the NFC North to the 7-1 Packers. This was supposed to be the first game of a grueling 4-game stretch. It’s unlikely they’ll face backups, going forward though. And good luck against Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson and Aaron Rodgers if you can’t beat Cooper Rush at home.

Not with Mike Zimmer managing games and Klint Kubiak calling plays

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan