Zimmer, entering his seventh year as head coach of the franchise and coming off a contract extension, has the fourth-highest odds of being the first head coach fired in the NFL after Week 1, per BetOnline.ag.
The expectations have likely been lowered as the Vikings lost seven starters. amid a pandemic with a truncated offseason. The Vikings gave Zimmer a vote of confidence moving forward by giving him a three-year contract extension.
“We are excited to have Coach Zimmer continue to lead the Minnesota Vikings this season and beyond,” Vikings owner Mark Wilf said in a statement. “We strongly believe in his leadership and the team culture he’s fostered. We look forward to him furthering the team’s success of the previous six seasons and leading us to our ultimate goal of bringing a Super Bowl Championship to Minnesota.”
The Vikings could terminate his contract at any time, although its highly unlikely he’s the first coach to be fired in 2020 if at all.
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Week 1’s Encouraging Signs
Aaron Rodgers’ dismantling of the Vikings defense was reason to cause some panic — the Vikings gave up the second-most total yards (522) and the most points (43) in Zimmer’s tenure.
Through the offensive onslaught, the Vikings came up only nine points shy in a 43-34 loss despite possessing the ball for a franchise-low 18 minutes, 44 seconds, compared to the Packers’ 41 minutes, 16 seconds with the ball.
With starting cornerback Cameron Dantzler and starting right guard Pat Elflein ruled out for Week 2 against the Colts, the Vikings may not have a bounce-back performance that resembles 2019’s playoff team but the offense’s resilience after a second-quarter meltdown shows the Vikings can and will stick with teams this season.
The Vikings will face a Colts team coming off an equally embarrassing loss to the Jaguars, which should be proving grounds for the adjustments coach Zimmer can make.
Individual Performances In Week 1
Zimmer has harped this offseason that the Vikings play complementary football. With a defensive collapse, many of the team’s top performers scored horribly in Pro Football Focus’ Week 1 positional grades.
Eric Kendricks and Harrison Smith were the only two defensive players with at least 10 snaps to have a PFF rating of above 60 — Smith was graded a 70 and Kendricks a 69.9. The Vikings’ defensive line and secondary struggled to pressure Rodgers, producing only seven pressures on 44 dropbacks.
The Vikings’ worst performances on defense are below:
Holton Hill – 29.0
Eddie Yarbrough – 30.3
Anthony Harris – 34.9
Jaleel Johnson – 39.7
Jalyn Holmes – 42.1
Yannick Ngakoue – 42.5
The offense played well as six players graded higher than a 60 on PFF’s scale. The Vikings top offensive performance grades are below:
Adam Thielen – 91.7
Kirk Cousins – 87.9
Alexander Mattison – 75.8
Kyle Rudolph – 72.8
Brian O’Neill – 72.7
Bisi Johnson – 72.1
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Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.