It’s time for Mike Zimmer’s crew to strike
Head Coach: Mike Zimmer. It’s an odd year, which means Zimmer is going kill him this season. Check out this pattern: The Vikings have achieved double-digit wins three times under Zimmer: in 2015, 2017, and 2019. So Minnesota is a lock on winning over 10 in 2021. I know that’s kind of logical generally reserved for walking. in a Las Vegas casino, looking at the payouts on the roulette wheel and concluding that a certain flush is âdueâ. Again.
I would actually have Zimmer in the top 11 coach in the NFL any year because the Vikings have been competitive every season Zimmer has coached. Yes, even in the peer years – even in parts of 2020. After all, the Zimmer years would be considered great seasons for other teams (looking at you, the Lions). The Vikings never finished with less than seven wins during his tenure. (Maybe that consistency isn’t always so good; if the Vikings had continued on the 1-5 pace they started with last year, they would have been in the mix for a quarterback like Justin Fields. Wait, I say the Vikings need a new quarterback? Not exactly. But we’ll talk about that in a moment.)
I want to stress that the coordinator’s situation is a family affair. Klint Kubiak replaces his father, Gary Kubiak, as the team’s offensive playmaker. (Kubiak has worked with Gary before and has been the team’s quarterback coach for the past two years.) And Mike’s son Adam Zimmer is entering his second season as defensive co-coordinator. It’s kind of like the Vikings version of the stable inherited from WWE years ago (which I was a big fan of, but then again, I’m a brand of Cody Rhodes).
Quarterback: Kirk Cousins. In my recent ranking of what NFC North quarterbacks would look like if Aaron Rodgers left the Packers, I had Cousins ââsecond, behind Bears rookie Justin Fields. Vikings fans were upset – but I’m still trying to figure out if it was because Cousins ââwas rated too high or too low. It’s strange that the Mild-mannered Cousins ââare such a polarizing figure. Who would hate Kirk Cousins? It’s like taking an extreme stance on Tom Hanks, who we all agree seems like a really good person. Even if some don’t like his films or his performances (me, for example, does not support the character “Woody” of Toy story), most people probably still have a favorable impression of Hanks.
I see Cousins ââthe same way. He will never participate in the conversation about the best quarterback in the NFL. But he’s consistent, having thrown for at least 4,000 yards in five of his past six seasons. He’s passed 30 touchdown passes in two of his last three. It is solid – as Tom Hanks in Catch Me If You Can.
That said, I’m curious if the Vikings will start to consider other options. Cousins ââis 32, is on contract for two more seasons and, as I wrote, appears to have a set cap. There was a report by Pro Football Talk that the team was on Fields, which, if true, would make the Ohio State product landing with rival Bears even more interesting. I’m sure if Fields becomes a QB stud, Bears fans won’t talk about it at all.
The Vikings drafted Kellen Mond – a double-threat quarterback compared by NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein to Colin Kaepernick – in the third round. It’s a choice that I really like. Mond has a lot of games under his belt, but he will benefit from sitting behind Cousins ââearly in his NFL career. Even so, don’t be surprised if there are opportunities for Mond this season.