Vikings

2 Purple Dreams and 1 Rams Nightmare

Photo Credit: David Reginek (USA TODAY Sports)

Thanks to the Philadelphia Eagles beating the Washington Football Team, the Minnesota Vikings are in a playoff spot right now. There’s only one catch: They have to face two of the best teams in the NFC and the Chicago Bears to finish up the season. I’m sure it will be fine!

I choose to remain blissfully ignorant of these facts and introduce to you my two Purple dreams and one Rams nightmare in this week’s installment:

ZIMMER SCHEMES LIKE HE’S NEVER SCHEMED BEFORE

This one is two-fold because Mike Zimmer is indeed on the hot seat, whether he’s willing to admit it or not. Sean McVay is the offensive wünderkind and Zimmer is a defensive mastermind. Something’s gotta give.

It will always be a storyline when these two meet, leading to good matchups. The two coaches are 1-1 in their careers against each other, so this is a rubber match worth anticipating.

One of the biggest disappointments for Minnesota this season has been the defense. It feels as though Zimmer has become predictable, and his A gap blitz schemes aren’t always the bee’s knees anymore. I’m not the numbers guy, but it’s been a problem at the end of games all year.

For Zimmer’s sake and to maintain their playoff hopes, the Vikings need to get some sort of momentum to wrap up the season. Saturday’s game is a borderline must-win, but it has been rough all year for the Vikings in matchups like this. They would have had a six-game winning streak if they had beaten the Cooper Rush-led Dallas Cowboys. That could have changed the whole season.

THE VIKINGS KEEP PLAYING TO THE LEVEL OF THEIR OPPONENTS 

I’ll make an exception when they play good teams, but this nonsense won’t stop. Hopefully, we see a repeat of the Green Bay Packers game where they show the rest of the nation that Vikings fans can enjoy wins – sometimes.

The Rams don’t really have a weakness. They are excellent on every level of offense and defense. The biggest flaw I see is their low-rated special teams unit (27th per PFF), but this Vikings team probably won’t win by being better on special teams alone unless Kene Nwangwu gets multiple kick-return touchdowns.

So the Vikings need to follow what they’ve done most of the year. They need to play just as well as their opponents do. It’s probably going to go down to the last play. That’s why I’m not worried about this game any more than any other ones. Maybe even less so because it’s better to lose to one of the best teams in the NFL.

THE VIKINGS GET BLOWN OUT

It would be severely disappointing if this game isn’t close. Not because it would confirm that the Vikings suck or that it would be surprising, but this game could be the end of an era.

Zimmer is on the hot seat, no matter what he says. It’s a shame because some great aspects of his coaching have been wasted at times, and now his defense is not performing up to his usual standards.

To make the playoffs, the Vikings need to keep pace. Otherwise, Philadelphia or Washington will pass them. At least the Vikings own the tie-breaker over the WFT.

I’m ready for anything this Sunday. I’m at the point in the season where every good game is fun, whether they win or lose. But, dammit, I would really hate it if this game ends up being a blowout with the Vikings continually dangling a playoff carrot right in front of my nose.

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Photo Credit: David Reginek (USA TODAY Sports)

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