Time Has Run Out on Mike Zimmer's Stay With the Minnesota Vikings

Kelley L. Cox/USA TODAY Sports

Time Has Run Out on Mike Zimmer's Stay With the Minnesota Vikings

NFL

Time Has Run Out on Mike Zimmer's Stay With the Minnesota Vikings

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Kelley L. Cox/USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer will likely coach his final game with the team on Sunday against the Chicago Bears. The Vikings fell to 7-9 following the team’s loss to the Green Bay Packers in week 17, which eliminated them from playoff contention.

This was the first time in Zimmer’s career that he missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons. Zimmer became the Vikings head coach in 2014 when he replaced Leslie Frazier. In 2015, Zimmer led the Vikings to the playoffs for the first time under his guidance. He eventually led the Vikings to two more playoff appearances in 2017 and 2019.

The Vikings started to unravel this season. They struggled to pull out wins that were within their reach and a lot of the criticism was directed at Zimmer. The Vikings underperformed this season because they were in close games, but made minor mistakes that cost them several wins.

In the 2021 season, 14 games were decided by eight points or less in wins and losses. To put it simply, the Vikings were in competitive games except for their week 3 win against the Seattle Seahawks and their week 17 loss at the Packers. Six of those one-score games were decided by three points or fewer. When looking at these statistics, it was unacceptable for the Vikings to only be a seven-win team.

The Vikings were much better than their record indicated and they should have made the playoffs with the talent they had on their roster. As a head coach, you take on more blame than you deserve, but it comes with the job. The head coach always receives more praise and blame than they deserve and Zimmer has received a bulk of the blame for the team’s losing season.

If Sunday is Zimmer’s last game on Minnesota’s sideline, it will be the end of an eight-year run with the Vikings. It is time for the Vikings to find a head coach with a different set of principles, who can reinvigorate a promising roster. Unfortunately for Zimmer, he has not had success over the last two seasons and that is why he will likely be out of a job after Sunday. Zimmer is a quality coach but he needs a change of scenery.

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