Kevin O’Connell’s ‘Head Coach Ranking’ Isn’t Any Good

Vikings Game against Lions Is Terribly Important, and Here's Why.
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In June of 2022, in an article that has since been deleted from the internet altogether, Pro Football Network ranked Minnesota Vikings first-year skipper Kevin O’Connell as the worst coach in the NFL.

Kevin O’Connell’s ‘Head Coach Ranking’ Isn’t Any Good

At the time, Mike Kaye from PFN said about O’Connell’s dead-last ranking, “Kevin O’Connell, despite being a former NFL QB and coordinator, is the mystery man among the head-coaching ranks. While the Vikings kept their roster mostly in place, O’Connell will clearly bring his own ideas to the table. O’Connell is a true wild card, for better or worse.”

Tweets for First
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Well, the same group published NFL coach rankings for 2023, and O’Connell again ranks in the back half of the business. PFN’s Dalton Miller nominated O’Connell as the 13th-worst coach in the league, placing the Vikings leader at No. 21 in his latest batch of head coach rankings.

Miller explained, “Kevin O’Connell changed the culture in Minnesota, helping the Vikings move on from the dour atmosphere former head coach Mike Zimmer left behind. But it’s still unclear how good the Vikings actually are.”

Was Totally Snubbed
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O’Connell tallied the most wins ever by a first-year Vikings coach with 13 — the third time in franchise history with any coach that Minnesota reached the win total.

“Minnesota went 11-0 in one-score games and finished with a negative point differential. O’Connell deserves any and all praise, but he’ll have to prove it again in 2023,” Miller concluded.

Vikings Can Deal With
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Curiously, PFN determined Frank Reich (No. 18, Panthers), Dan Campbell (No. 19, Lions), and Kevin Stefanski (No. 20, Browns) were all better head coaches than O’Connell. Campbell, in particular, has a 17-28-1 (.380) career record as a head coach, a mark wildly below O’Connell’s 13-4 (.764) one-year total.

Miller opined Andy Reid (No. 1, Chiefs), Bill Belichick (No. 2, Patriots), and Mike Tomlin (No. 3, Steelers) as the league’s top coaches heading into 2023.

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O’Connell’s Vikings are scheduled by oddsmakers to win 8.5 games in 2023, a vast drop-off from the fancy 13-4 performance in 2022. Most don’t believe Minnesota has the oomph to repeat its stellar 2022 record and instead pick the Detroit Lions to win the NFC North for the first time in 30 years.

O’Connell finished sixth last year in Coach of the Year voting after the impressive start as Minnesota’s skipper. New York Giants coach Brian Daboll won the award, which nudged Daboll to No. 11 on PFN’s list for 2023.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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