Richard Sherman’s Harsh Words about the Vikings

Purple Rumor Mill: Richard Sherman, the OBJ Tour, Mike Zimmer's Office
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings offseason began Sunday night — when most Vikings fans firmly believed the process would start next weekend.

But no cigar, as Minnesota ended the season with a grimace, losing to the upstart New York Giants, courtesy of marvelous quarterback play from the suddenly-good Daniel Jones.

Richard Sherman’s Harsh Words about the Vikings

And before the Vikings-Giants tryst in the Wildcard Round, various prominent NFL voices predicting a Vikings loss — from Rich Gannon, Rob Gronkowski, to Maurice Jones-Drew. Now, in the aftermath of Minnesota’s defeat, a future Hall of Fame cornerback explains that the Vikings weren’t very formidable in the first place.

Harsh Words about
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Former Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Richard Sherman opined about the 2022 Vikings via The Volume Twitter account, “They were living on the edge of a knife the entire season. They could’ve easily not been a playoff team at all. The New York Giants exposed that.”

Here’s the full video clip:

Sherman’s musings echo what many pundits expressed all season about the Vikings — the franchise was living on borrowed time. Somehow, the Kevin O’Connell-led Vikings were gangbusters in close games but totally refused to put a foot on the neck of, well, anybody.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports.

Per the metrics and eventual first-round exit, analysts were correct about the Vikings. Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric deemed Minnesota the league’s sixth-worst team, even though the Vikings won 13 games. EPA/Play (expected wins added) pegged the Vikings as a mediocre team for most of the 2022 season. And then volume stats told a similar story.

The aforementioned Gronkowski spoke to the Up & Adams show and stated a case for the Giants upset last week, “Minnesota is a team that you don’t know what you are going to get. You can get a team that posed for the No. 1 seed, or you can get a team that wasn’t a playoff team at all. The Giants. They come prepared every week to play their best, and Minnesota’s not. The Giants are going to have the upset.”

The man knows his stuff.

A Vikings Win over Giants
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

All of these folks were right. Perhaps a sentiment of positivity would exist if the Vikings defeated the Giants and then got their clock cleaned in San Francisco this weekend. Yet, for now, especially in hindsight, the Vikings were a decent football team — probably more in line with a 9-8 squad — that was legendary in 4th Quarter of games.

The next step for Minnesota is deciding internally, “How close were we really?” If the Vikings brass firmly believes it was a 13-win team that had a bad game in the playoffs, the team could re-tool and shoot for the stars in 2023. Otherwise, if general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah agrees with the Shermans of the world, a fuller roster upheaval could be around the bend, particularly on defense.

NFL free agency begins on March 15th.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).