The Vikings were blown out in historic fashion against the Saints on Christmas Day.
Well, Christmas was ruined (if you let the Vikings do so, at least). Thanks to Kirk Cousins not being a god and scoring seven touchdowns while getting twenty tackles and two fumble recoveries on Alvin Kamara, the Minnesota Vikings were blown out to the New Orleans Saints 52–33.
No, I don’t actually blame Cousins. At this point, anyone that blames Cousins for the whole season doesn’t understand football. He was the only reason we were in the Saints game at all. He could have thrown for 500 yards and five touchdowns, and the Vikings would have still lost by three even if they had two successful two-point conversions.
The Vikings defense was historically horrible
We all know that the Vikings’ defense hasn’t been up to snuff this year. With rookies at the cornerback position, season-ending injuries to Danielle Hunter and Eric Kendricks, and a D-Line that’s been mediocre at best this season, it’s been a hard knock life for this team. For years was revered for its old-school smashmouth way of playing football via a decisive run game and an elite defense. But it’s apparent they’ve fallen off this season.
The game on Christmas Day was one for the record books. Saints running back Alvin Kamara scored a record-tying six rushing touchdowns on the Vikings. The last person to do this was Ernie Nevers in 1929. In other words, the Vikings let what is arguably their biggest rival outside of the NFC North tie a record that was set before the Great Depression.
Vikings franchise records also broken
The Vikings also didn’t just let the Saints tie a record. They set their own franchise records. It was such a lousy day that Mike “I have never had a bad defense” Zimmer had to admit that it was terrible. In his interview post-game, his exact words were that this year’s defense was “the worst one I’ve ever had.”
I don’t know if he’s blaming the players or himself. One can hope he’ll finally hold himself accountable instead of throwing players under the bus to save his ego.
As shown above, not only did Kamara have a record day, but the Vikings put on a monumentally horrific performance. They let the Saints score 52 points, the most a Vikings defense had allowed since 1963 when the St. Louis Cardinals scored 56 on them. The Vikings joined the NFL in 1961.
To put the cherry on top of this Zimmer-run “defense,” the team allowed the Saints offense to gain 583 yards on them, the most allowed in team history. To compare, in the 43–34 loss against the Packers to start the season, the defense allowed 522 total yards.
The tackling effort from the defense was beyond poor
Don’t even get me started on the sorry excuse of effort on the defense tackling. All day, they sucked. Kamara had 155 yards on the ground, but 94 of those came after contact. Also, two people missed a tackle on tight end Jared Cook and let him get 44 yards.
I felt like the defense didn’t care anymore. There was no urgency to win the game on that side of the ball. Sure, the defense got two interceptions (from players getting their first start), but that’s because Brees had recently returned from breaking eleven ribs earlier in the season. He was not a hundred percent for this game.
Everything else on the defensive side of the ball was abysmal. The defensive line did nothing. The linebackers couldn’t tackle if their life (or their playoff chances) depended on it. The corners were once again getting beat (except for Harrison Hand, maybe), and the safeties…what safeties? Oh yeah, Anthony Harris, the one who struggled all game to tackle, too? Where did Harrison Smith go?
With this brutal blowout, the Vikings are out of playoff contention. And for the first time in his head coaching career for the Vikings, Mike Zimmer will record a losing season.
Who didn’t see this coming? Every other year, the team is mediocre and barely makes it to .500. Our “good years” are us either choking in the Wild Card or getting blown out in the second round. Just look at the NFC Championship game against the Eagles in the 2017 season and the 49ers game last year as examples of the latter.
This year was the off-year for us. But it’s looking to be a historically bad one. Hopefully, the Lions win against the Buccaneers, and we lose to them in our last game season. That way, we’ll be in last place in the division, and it will give the Wilfs no choice but to fire Zimmer. (I know, wishful thinking).
He’s been a good coach for us. But in a league that’s rapidly changing to a more offense-friendly league that favors quarterbacks that can run and pass at an elite level, he’s become a relic of a bygone era of football. His type of style could have been great in the ’90s.
But in today’s league, you must have an explosive, flashy offense, an athletic defense, and an excellent situational coach. Otherwise, you’ll have the Minnesota Vikings under Mike Zimmer: Good enough to make the playoffs every other year, but never good enough to win the Super Bowl.