Whether You Blame Mike Zimmer or Not, He Has to Go.

PHOTO: John Autey

The Minnesota Vikings were terrible again today, this time falling to an 0-5 Atlanta Falcons team. All of us watched it, and if you didn’t, I’m not here to ruin your Sunday.

To sum the game up in one overly-long sentence: Kirk Cousins started the festivities by throwing an interception and the Falcons then rattled off 20 points in the first half, before stomping the Vikings into their 2020 graves in the 2nd.

I said it last week and the follow up blog is coming later tonight. If the Vikings couldn’t beat the Falcons today then it’s time to hit the tank button. That process starts with firing those in charge, more specifically, Mike Zimmer.

Fire Mike Zimmer

I love Mike Zimmer as a person and as a coach. His upfront and rugged demeanor works. He has the respect of his players, coaches and fanbase. His biggest problem, however, is the side of the ball he coaches.

I know Kubiak and Dennison were both under the Vikings umbrella last season but even so, Gary Kubiak is the 5th offensive coordinator that Mike Zimmer has had since 2015. That’s five different offensive coordinators in five seasons.

Some departures have been negative (Turner, Defilippo) but Mike Zimmer has also helped to elevate two of his offensive coordinators to head coaching positions (Shurmer, Stefanski).

Defensive head coaches are always facing a double-edged sword. If your offense sucks, you’re probably going to suck. If your offense is good, you’re probably going to lose your offensive coordinator to a head coaching job.

Dan Quinn / Kyle Shanahan

You saw this same kind of thing with Dan Quinn, one of the most respected defensive head coaches in the NFL at one time. He lost Kyle Shanahan to the 49ers right after the Falcons gave up Super Bowl LI to the Patriots.

Atlanta went 7-9 in both 2018 and 2019, before starting 2020 at 0-5. Dan Quinn was then fired before the Falcons came into US Bank Stadium and dunked on the Vikings today..

So even if you don’t believe the Vikings’ problems start with Mike Zimmer, he still has to go. The Vikings need to hire an offensive head coach, if only for consistency purposes. A good team can survive losing a good defensive coordinator.

It’s a lot more difficult to hit the reset button on offense. But again, this is only where the rebuild starts.

Here is Mike Zimmer speaking to media immediately after the loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan