Vikings

An Intervention for 2020 Vikings Fans

Photo Credit: Hyosub Shin (USA Today Sports)

You may have noticed that this is not an Adam Thielen Mankato State Highlight Party or a therapy group for people who still remember the 1991 Halloween blizzard (in fact, that’s down the hall). But if you clicked on this article, we are here to provide you, a loyal Vikings fan, an intervention.

You see, in my 34 years, I’ve seen a lot. I’d watch Minnesota Vikings games with my grandpa. He’d lay out scenarios in which the Vikings season would end and have me pick one. I’d always go with the Hail Mary because it was quick, but I’m sure you went with the missed field goal.

You probably had a lot of hope coming into this season, too. The defense lost a lot but Mike Zimmer is a defensive guru. Justin Jefferson could offset the loss of Stefon Diggs. Dru Samia and Ezra Cleveland could upgrade the offensive line. Even Kirk Cousins could build off his playoff win in New Orleans. It’s not your fault…

“Yeah, I know.”

“It’s not your fault.”

“I know…”

“It’s not your fault.”

“Don’t mess with me, man.”

“It’s not your fault.”

If we were actually in the same room, you would probably be sobbing in my arms right now. You thought the Vikings could still compete in the NFC North, but they’re 1-5 and the best thing they can do now is the one thing you swore they shouldn’t do: Lose.

The visuals of wanting the hometown team to lose are not good. As most fans grew up with parents that screamed at the TV until their faces turned purple, we’re taught to cheer for the Vikings to win every Sunday. That’s why when the concept of “tanking” for Trevor Lawrence was brought up at the beginning of the season most scoffed because they were expected to be a contender.

But the biggest need for the Vikings right now is change. Minnesota is a mess on both sides of the ball, and it’s clear that Mike Zimmer’s philosophy of running the ball on second-and-long, controlling the clock and playing great defense doesn’t work without an offensive line or… a great defense. Additionally, Cousins has backed up his playoff moment against the Saints by being on pace for a 30 for 30… as in the 30 touchdown, 30 interception season made famous by Jameis Winston.

If the on-the-field performance doesn’t persuade you, the off-the-field decisions by the Vikings should. As soon as Cousins screamed, “YOU LIKE THAT!!!” in the janitor’s closet (aka visitor’s locker room) at the Superdome, General Manager Rick Spielman came racing down with an iron-clad contract that will basically force the Vikings to eat a $40 million cap hit if they decide to get rid of Cousins before 2022.

Add in that Spielman and Zimmer received three-year extensions, and the Vikings essentially locked themselves into the Jeff Fisher 7-9 purgatory. In other words, the Vikings are too good to be bad, but not bad enough to create the change needed to get the franchise out of their current rut.

By losing, the Vikings can solve a lot of the problems they currently have. Cousins may be in Minnesota until 2022, but the Vikings can prepare for their future by diving into the waters for a new franchise quarterback in the draft. They may not land Lawrence (that will be reserved for the Jets), but the opportunity to land Trey Lance or Justin Fields would be good enough to give them a fresh start.

If you somehow think Cousins needs another chance (or there’s no way out), adding a stud lineman such as Oregon’s Penei Sewell can help accelerate a rebuild. Perhaps adding a penetrating 3-tech on the defensive line like Florida State’s Marvin Austin could help the defensive line. Even a cornerback like Patrick Surtain II would provide a boost.

And in a special case, this may be the time for the team to part with Zimmer and Spielman. Zimmer has led the Vikings to respectability, but his ways seem to be outdated and his relationship with Cousins seems to be contentious. Spielman has also played a key role in the Vikings’ success, but it might be time to get someone in there that hasn’t whiffed on finding a franchise quarterback multiple times.

It’s not ideal. It sure as hell won’t be easy. But it needs to happen in order to get the Vikings back into contention for a Super Bowl. If you feel down, just remember one thing… it’s not your fault.

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Photo Credit: Hyosub Shin (USA Today Sports)

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