By: Nick Pooler
The Minnesota Vikings came into the 2018-19 NFL season as a favorite to win it all. After losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship game, their roster only improved. What many thought was an upgrade at the quarterback position, Kirk Cousins signed a 3-year, $84 million guarenteed deal with the Vikings. He finished this season 4,298 passing yards, 30 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Leading the Vikings to a very upsetting 8-7-1 record which took them out of playoff contention.
Vikings fans may argue that they had a tough schedule to their defense. Some games were very inexcusable. For example, losing to the Buffalo Bills 27-6. Or even getting beat in a win-or-go home game versus Chicago this past weekend in Minnesota 24-10. They definitely did not live up to expectations. Following the loss in last years playoffs, adding Cousins gave them an unreal offense. Or so people thought. With a two-headed monster of Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray in the backfield, followed up by a receiving core of Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph and Laquon Treadwell.
On the defensive side, they were even more well known. With names like Danielle Hunter, Sheldon Richardson, Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen on the front line. Even though Griffen did take a leave from the team for a few weeks, there was no excuse the others could not step up. Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr are one of the best linebacker duos in the league. Defensive backs led by Harrison Smith, Trae Waynes, Xavier Rhodes and George Iloka should have been shut down. The even went out and signed one of the leagues best kickers Dan Bailey who was recently released by the Cowboys.
Head Coach Mike Zimmer definitely should have been on the hot seat, but instead it was offensive coordinator John DeFillipo who was to blame. He was fired early December for the lack of production from the Minnesota offense.
For all the Vikings fans out there, it is a sad season for them. Going from a SuperBowl favorite in August to sitting on the outside looking in come January. With all that talent being eliminated from playoffs, it is very upsetting for any football fans. It was not just the Vikings either, the Pittsburgh Steelers not making the playoffs is shocking as well. Whether or not you like the Steelers, you must admit it’ll be very weird and different not seeing Big Ben and his offense playing into deep January. It does seem like it is becoming a new age in the NFL once again. With the Packers, Vikings, Steelers, Falcons and Panthers all missing out, and the Ravens, Chargers, Bears and Colts getting in, it is hard telling what teams are one-hit wonders and what teams are here to stay. For now, it is utterly shocking seeing the transformation of Minnesota’s season and one that will shock NFL fans and leave them in wonder this whole offseason.