The Minnesota Vikings are not hiding their frustration on how their 2021 season has unfolded.
Everyone from wide receiver Adam Thielen to head coach Mike Zimmer do not have the words to explain their late-game struggles.
The narrative in every Vikings game remains consistent through eight games.
They would start strong and eventually survive or fizzle at the end.
Matthew Stafford really got tired of losing to the Kirk Cousins led Vikings😂 pic.twitter.com/bPY4BlXBLv
— Drew🌳 (@YouGotMossedx) November 12, 2021
That scenario was highly evident during their loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Minnesota held a 14-0 lead that Lamar Jackson and company overhauled to escape with a three-point win.
If all the breaks fell to their advantage, the Vikings would have a chance to be undefeated.
Their five losses came within seven points or less, meaning that one momentum swing could tip the outcome in their favor.
Same story but a different week for @Vikings 🤬
— Cris Carter (@criscarter80) November 7, 2021
But while it’s easy to fool anyone that they’re a tough team to beat, their inability to close games makes the seats of Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman hotter.
Both men must perform their jobs magnificently if they want to stay longer.
What’s The Matter With Their Defense?
The Vikings defense had three opportunities to prevent their opponents from getting game-winning drives.
Unfortunately, they failed in all three instances.
The most frustrating of these results is the five-yard touchdown catch by the Dallas Cowboys’ Amari Cooper.
It’s maddening enough to lose a game on the final drive.
The Minnesota Vikings won't have three big starters on the defense today:
– Harrison Smith
– Michael Pierce
– Danielle Hunter
All of three have been ruled out against the Baltimore Ravens.
— Pedro H. Rhormes (@rhormes_) November 7, 2021
But falling to a Dak Prescott-less Cowboys made the loss more disappointing.
A week later, they let the Ravens deliver the knockout blow even if they had Baltimore on the ropes early on.
We are halfway through the season and the Vikings rank 28th in total yards allowed (383.6 per game).
#Vikings coach Mike Zimmer: "I got to find out a way to help this team."
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) November 10, 2021
The Minnesota defense must be performing better because Zimmer is a defensive-minded coach.
Unfortunately, they falter when it matters most and let games slip away.
Road Games Give Them Nightmares
It might be early in the season, but the Vikings must show urgency to save their season.
However, they’re going on the road again, where they’ve lost three of four games.
This time, the Vikings will be facing the Los Angeles Chargers, who are coming off a victory against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Justin Herbert will punish the Minnesota defense if they don’t step up.
Kirk Cousins in Notable Games
Entering 2019 Wild Card
Playoff Games: 0-1
Vs Winning Teams: 6-30
Road Games: 17-26-2
Overtime Games: 0-2-2
– – –
Cousins defeated the 13-3 Saints in the 2019 Wild Card on the road in overtime.
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) January 5, 2020
If they lose this matchup, the Vikings will fall to 3-6, and heads might roll in the process.
Team owner Zygi Wilf might see the defeat as the final straw in letting Zimmer go after nine seasons.
Surprisingly, he never had consecutive winning seasons during his run with the Vikings.
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
He made the NFC Championship Game once but suffered a collapse against the Eagles.
Despite his past accolades, Week 10 will dictate if he will still coach the Vikings beyond 2021.
Therefore, the Vikings must reverse their meltdowns on the road to keep their postseason hopes alive.
Otherwise, the beginning of the end will arrive, and massive changes will happen soon on their coaching staff and front office.