Vikings Win vs Packers Was a Mike Zimmer Masterpiece

Photo: John Autey – St. Paul Pioneer Press

I didn’t really want the Minnesota Vikings to win on Sunday. In fact, I was fairly disappointed when the clock hit zero in the fourth quarter and my favorite football team still stood on top.

Some way, some how though, the Vikings pulled out an upset vs the 5-1 division rival Green Bay Packers and they did it, at times, without cornerbacks to cover Aaron Rodgers’ receivers. For that, a ton of credit should go to Mike Zimmer.

There’s been plenty of talk about Zimmer’s hot seat recently, after his team started 1-5. But, he showed us this weekend that there’s still plenty of great coaching left in his tank.

Is he the right coach for the Vikings’ future? That’s another conversation for different time. On Sunday, he showed he can still lead a group of grown men into a battle they shouldn’t win, and come out victorious.

How it happened…

What stands out most for me, is how he went about winning Sunday’s game. The Minnesota Vikings organization pays $30 million per year to an average quarterback and they’ve been trying to hope him into something he’s not. But Zim decided this week’s game was going to be different. This was going to be a Mike Zimmer football game…. and boy, was it ever.



Dalvin Cook got over 30 touches and scored four TD’s on Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, Kirk Cousins threw the ball only 14 times for 160 yards. Kirk had the keys completely taken out of his hands and was treated like an average backup quarterback. Why? Because that is how Mike Zimmer wins football games.

He doesn’t want, nor does he need an overpaid average QB to stand in the way of him running the football down an opponent’s throat. You know Zim would jump on the opportunity to trade Kirk (and his money) back for one of his two guys, Teddy Bridgewater or Case Keenum, for that exact reason.

What secondary?

On the defensive side, Zimmer was able to get the best of Aaron Rodgers despite guys like D.J. Wonnum and Harrison Hand getting meaningful snaps. Anthony Harris was playing nickel for part of this game, for goodness sakes.

Most of his CB1’s and CB2’s were all out. Wind or no wind, pulling out this win should have been impossible.

Yet… here we are, talking about it. Zimmer was given the league’s best running back, a below-average QB and a broken and tattered defensive unit. His task was to take that team into Green Bay and lose a football game so we could start a new era of football in Minnesota. But Zim had different plans.

I must admit that even I threw $10 on the Packers (-6). But how could we have known an angry Mike Zimmer would throw his $30M QB to the side and run Dalvin Cook to a victory without most starters on defense.

Lesson learned: Don’t doubt Zim.

Cooper Carlson | Minnesota Sports Fan