Vikings Fans Call for Coach’s Firing After Season-Ending Loss to Giants

Ed Donatell

Courtesy of Vikings Vikings defensive coordinator Ed Donatell is in the hot seat with fans calling for his firing after the team's season-ending loss to the New York Giants.

Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Ed Donatell fluffed his feathers at the press podium for what could be the final time after an abysmal season-ending loss to the New York Giants.

“It’s our time to shine as a defense, now that we’re hitting the playoffs. We’ve been put in a lot of big moments and it’s hardened us for these times that are coming,” Donatell said in his Thursday press conference before the wild-card matchup against the Giants. “I think you’ll like the way we play.”

Donatell’s defense offered little to like, surrendering 431 yards of offense and forcing just two stops in an eventual 31-24 loss on Sunday. It was an uphill battle from the start with New York scoring on drives of 85, 81 and 90 yards on its first three possessions.

By halftime, calls for Donatell’s job sirened on social media and crescendoed as the Vikings’ season ended in disappointing fashion.

Vikings Fans Sound Off on Defense’s ‘Pathetic’ Performance in Loss to Giants

While plenty of words have been said about Donatell’s defense throughout the 2022 season, this photo is undoubtedly more telling.

Star Tribune columnist Chip Scoggins, recounting Donatell’s promises in his press conference just days earlier, was unimpressed at halftime.

“Remember when Ed Dojantell said the defense is going to shine in the playoffs,” Scoggins tweeted. “Now would be a good time to start.”

Calls for Donatell’s ousting rang midgame across the Vikings fan base on social media.

After an impressive opening drive where Minnesota took a 7-0 lead, the defense surrendered 14.3 yards per play as the Giants answered with a touchdown just three minutes later, deafening the crowd quickly.

Donatell’s inability to both stop quarterback Daniel Jones as a runner and running back Saquon Barkley’s ability as a receiver was on display as New York imposed its will on offense.

One fan said head coach Kevin O’Connell is not free of blame after his decision to not fire Donatell earlier in the season.

“The Vikings failed bc KOC [O’Connell] didn’t have the backbone to fire Ed donatell when everyone in the world knew the 3-4 system wasn’t working,” the fan tweeted. “KOC didn’t have what it takes and he failed this roster.”

Former Vikings running back Robert Smith didn’t leave any excuses on the players either. Boasting veteran talent that may be past their prime, Smith suggested the defense needs upgrades at every level.

While the 2022 Vikings season was one of the most thrilling spectacles in sports history, the team’s ability to win in the clutch overshadowed its shortcomings.

“This mirage @Vikings season is about to end. Fire Ed Donatell tonight, please,” one fan tweeted.

 Vikings’ Kevin O’Connell’s Immediate Reaction to Defensive Struggles vs. Giants

Asked whether he would consider a new defensive coordinator in his evaluation for next season, head coach Kevin O’Connell deflected any answers at the moment with the loss still on his mind during his postgame press conference.

“I think Ed tried to do the best he could this year across the board. Installing the defense and scheme we manifested together and hoped it could come to life. He worked his tail off and his commitment to make adjustments and improve was there all season long,” O’Connell said.

“I’m going to look at every aspect. How can we improve schematically all those things are for really a different time and conversations once we have a chance to collect and evaluate ourselves and what took place this year.”

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