Vikings Reporter: There's "Panic In The Air"

The Vikings have woefully underperformed this season, causing "dysfunction and dissatisfaction" in the Twin Cities

Ferrall On The Bench
December 13, 2018 - 8:50 am

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After finishing 13-3 and reaching the NFC Championship last season, the Minnesota Vikings signed Kirk Cousins to lead them to the Super Bowl.

Things have not gone as planned.

The Vikings, at 6-6-1, are the definition of mediocrity and are coming off an embarrassing performance on Monday Night Football, needing a score in the final two minutes to avoid a shutout in Seattle.

Minnesota closes the season against Miami (7-6), at Detroit (5-8), and against Chicago (9-4). The Vikings could win all of those games, yes, but even if they do, will it matter big picture?

“Even if they run the table, they’re still going to be stuck in that No. 6 seed,” St. Paul Pioneer Press sportswriter Brian Murphy said on Ferrall on the Bench. “They’re going to be going on the road. They’re not going to be getting the bye. If they’re going to get anywhere, they’d have to travel probably through New Orleans or L.A. That’s not going to look too pretty, either.”

Indeed, if the season ended today, Minnesota would be headed to Soldier Field to take on a Bears team that just held the Rams (11-2) to six points. After that? The Superdome.

Yikes.

“This was a season with Super Bowls expectations,” Murphy said. “Kirk Cousins, they signed him – everybody knows – to $84 million guaranteed. They basically have one of the best defenses in the league, but it’s on the field too often.”

The Vikings led the league in scoring defense last season (15.8 points per game allowed). This year, they rank 11th (22.4). The offense, meanwhile, isn’t pulling its weight. Minnesota has scored just 17 points in the last two weeks combined and has lost four of six overall.

“What happened in Seattle was such a disaster offensively they ended up firing their offensive coordinator, John DeFilippo,” Murphy said. “So now you’ve got kind of panic in the air. You’ve got a lot of disgruntled fans who are wondering how did this go off the rails? This was a 13-3 team a year ago that made it to the NFC Championship Game, and they’re hanging by their fingernails on the No. 6 seed. And you’ve got a coach (Mike Zimmer) who's just made his seat even hotter by firing his offensive coordinator. It’s dysfunction and dissatisfaction in the Twin Cities.”

Minnesota hosts Miami on Sunday. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.