The Minnesota Vikings enter each season with so much hype and excitement.
It always seems like the current year is their year.
Then, the team’s play falls below expectations, and the discussions start of how to fix things.
2021 is no different.
The Vikings at 3-5 are trailing the 7-2 Green Bay Packers in the NFC North.
They should have more than three wins given that they have led in many games this season that they dropped in the fourth quarter or overtime.
Think about it, the Vikings have collapsed and lost a lead the last 5 games. Mike Zimmer has delivered 2 playoff wins in 8 seasons. In both wins, his team collapsed in the 4th quarter to lose the lead, only to win in a furious comeback. The trend has been here a long time!
— VikeFans (@VikeFans) November 8, 2021
Will head coach Mike Zimmer’s tenure be up in Minnesota after this season?
Here are three reasons why this is likely Zimmer’s final year at the helm in Minnesota.
1. Not Getting Results
#Vikings coach Mike Zimmer: "I got to find out a way to help this team."
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) November 10, 2021
The NFL is all about wins, and Zimmer does not have them.
Let’s also not forget that the Vikings have one of the best young wide receivers in the game in Justin Jefferson.
Zimmer is in his eighth season as the Vikings head coach.
Some would argue he could have been fired sooner.
Mike Zimmer's record against good teams (finish the season >.500 record) continues to plummet — as does Kirk Cousins'.
Only 1 head coach remains below Zimmer during the same span of years, that coached for 4+ seasons: Jay Gruden (.211) pic.twitter.com/3tCn1cDUNu
— MN Researcher (@veith_daniel) November 7, 2021
He only has three truly successful winning seasons.
Those were in 2015 when the Vikings were 11-5, the 2017 season with the miraculous playoff run when the Vikings finished the regular season at 13-3, and in 2019 when the team went 10-6.
All three of those seasons resulted in playoff runs that were disappointing.
He has a 2-3 playoff record.
2. His Relationship With Kirk Cousins
From the outside, it is really hard to figure out Zimmer’s relationship with quarterback Kirk Cousins.
There are times when it seems as though they are adversaries.
If the Vikings ownership and front office are all in on Cousins, they have to wonder about how productive Zimmer and Cousins can be together.
Cousins has been with the Vikings since 2018.
Even when they are victorious, their relationship seems unusual.
Consider this interaction after the Vikings defeated the Lions.
Kirk Cousins and Mike Zimmer sure have a weird way of celebrating 😳😬
— Stadium (@Stadium) October 10, 2021
It was played off as a hyped up victory celebration; however, the shoving led some to wonder if there is animosity.
Cousins has spoken up in recent years about wanting more input into the offense.
Though Zimmer has admitted Cousins has input, the amount he actually has and any ensuing power struggles related to their more intense collaboration are unknown.
3. Rising Generation Of Younger Coaches
Unless an NFL coach has won a Super Bowl, he is being squeezed out by this younger generation of NFL coaches.
They include a group under the age of 40 that contains Sean McVay, Joe Judge, and Kevin Stefanski.
Zimmer is 65 years old; his generational counterparts are Bruce Arians, Pete Carroll, and Bill Belichick.
Those three are Super Bowl Champions.
At some point and likely soon given how the Vikings are playing, Zimmer will be ushered out in favor of a younger coach.
Week 10 Will Be Telling
The Vikings travel to Los Angeles to take on Justin Herbert and the 5-3 Chargers.
This will be another good litmus test for where this Vikings team is.
The talent is there, but can they put it to work to secure a big win.
We will soon find out.