The Purple Gang was one win away from a Super Bowl appearance last season. Can the Minnesota Vikings come up with some important answers this fall?
Although the Philadelphia Eagles are defending Super Bowl champions, there’s a lot of noise and understandably so about the team that they knocked off in the NFC title game a year ago. In 2017, the Minnesota Vikings finished 13-3, won the NFC North and had the look of a team more than capable of becoming the first to play the Super Bowl in their own home stadium.
But when it was all said and done, Mike Zimmer’s team was indeed done after a humbling 38-7 loss to the Birds in the conference title clash. This offseason, the club lost some key members in terms of depth but also added a few quality free agents. The Vikings figure to be a better football team this year in what figures to be an improve division.
Can this franchise return to the Super Bowl for the first time since the Bud Grant Era? The team last played in the Big Game in 1976. So what five questions need to be answered if the Purple Gang wants to make early February reservations for Atlanta?
5. Is Mike Zimmer an underrated head coach?
The heralded defensive mind certainly paid his dues before he took over the reins of the Purple Gang in 2014. Under his command, the Minnesota Vikings have won a pair of division titles over the past three seasons. But in the middle was a disappointing 8-8 season after the club got off to a 5-0 start.
Mike Zimmer’s overall win-loss record as head coach stands at 40-27, which includes a 1-2 playoff mark. He’s done an excellent job overcoming some of the team’s various issues. The Vikings have gone through their share of quarterbacks in recent years, due mainly to injury. There was also both 2014 and ’16 when star running back Adrian Peterson was missing the vast majority of those seasons, each for different reasons.
That being said, there is certainly a lot of pressure on Zimmer and the organization to produce this year. Off a 13-3 showing and with a well-balanced team at his disposal, the long-time sideline teacher has been given an excellent opportunity to be even more appreciated.