Snap Reactions after Vikings-Rams

From a suggestion by a reader, we author a “snap reactions” weekly piece detailing thoughts and analysis after a Minnesota Vikings game.

This will be off-the-cuff, a wee bit “random,” and hopefully insightful.

  1. The Vikings are not a “team of destiny” in 2021. Most of you already knew that, but there is always the hope — what do Vikings fans live for, after all? — they’d get hot in December and get their act together. Alas, they did not.
  2. Unless you plan on Minnesota stunning Green Bay at Lambeau Field next weekend, the Vikings season is effectively over.
  3. We formally predict Mike Zimmer will be terminated on Black Monday.
  4. Our theory is that the Vikings will not part ways with both Zimmer and Kirk Cousins. One will be retained, along with general manager Rick Spielman. Therefore, Spielman essentially must choose Zimmer or Cousins as it is unlikely both hit the highway. Who is more responsible for Minnesota missing the postseason in 2020 or 20201? Ask yourself that over the next two weeks.
  5. The Vikings intercepted Matthew Stafford — he basically played like the same Stafford that Vikings fans have known for 12 years — and Zimmer’s team never led on the scoreboard for a single second. That is extremely problematic when facing any team but especially an 11-4 team with Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, Von Miller, Cooper Kupp, and Odell Beckham.
  6. This was yet another contest in which Minnesota won the turnover battle — but lost the game. It is infuriating.
  7. K.J. Osborn is enacting wonderful strides as a WR3. In a year or two, he’ll be trusted with WR2 duties — probably when Adam Thielen retires. Call it a silver lining from the day.
  8. The game was over when Brandon Powell returned the punt for six. Of course, the Vikings did their version of battling back, but the special teams touchdown was “free points.” Stafford wasn’t providing them at the time. Powell’s heroics were the spark to victory.
  9. Unlike the Steelers game on Thursday Night Football, the crowd at U.S. Bank Stadium wasn’t totally into the game. Sure, they were loud in spots. On the whole, though, the home crowd acted like it knew this regime is on borrowed time.
  10. Although Alexander Mattison scored, he’s simply not as dynamic as Dalvin Cook. He hurdles folks with more pizazz — and that’s it. Cook was missed.
  11. Again, this brand of Vikings is probably in its final weeks. Enjoy it, cherish it, celebrate it, lament it, or just experience it. Change is coming.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).