Vikings Have ‘Broken Mike Zimmer’ After Brutally Honest Comment: Insider

Mike Zimmer

Getty Vikings coach Mike Zimmer declared Sean Mannion the team's starting quarterback ahead of a pivotal primetime matchup with the Packers.

Make no mistake. Mike Zimmer is coaching for his job in the Minnesota Vikings‘ final four games this season.

With the expectations of being a “playoff factor” made public after missing the postseason in 2020, the Vikings can’t afford many more slipups.

Meanwhile, Minnesota continues to storm out to comfortable leads and allow competition to come back. The Vikings (6-7) are coming off a dramatic 36-28 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, where they scored the game’s first 29 points but allowed the Steelers to come back and threaten overtime down to the game’s final play.

An embarrassing loss to the formerly winless Detroit Lions in Week 13 nearly sealed Zimmer’s fate. However, the four-day turnaround between Sunday’s loss to the Lions and Thursday’s win over the Steelers may have been all that kept Zimmer around another week.

Minnesota hasn’t had a game decided by more than eight points since Week 3. Ten of the Vikings’ 13 games have been decided on the final play.

And when his team was ahead 29 points midway through the third quarter, Zimmer couldn’t help but think, “here we go again,” a stunning admission shown in the video below that left longtime Pioneer Press columnist Brian Murphy shocked.

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‘The Team Has Broken Mike Zimmer’

Murphy, appearing on the Purple Insider podcast with Matthew Coller, broke down the state of the Vikings franchise as the team continues to produce some of the most frustrating yet compelling games in the NFL.

Hearing of Zimmer’s comment, Murphy called it a “rarity,” in the modern media-trained NFL where coach’s attempt to instill confidence and control through publicly displayed press conferences.

But Minnesota is in uncharted territory with its 2021 resume, leaving Zimmer to be looser with his word than in years past. Murphy speculated what’s inside the mind of Zimmer entering a crucial four-game stretch to close the season.

“The team has broken Mike Zimmer,” Murphy said. “Right now, he’s probably thinking, ‘I’m just playing with house money. What do I have to lose? Because I’m probably getting canned anyway. These guys are doing this to me… It’s Paul Newman in slapshot and the Hansons; I can’t control them.’ ”

Murphy attributed the Vikings’ volatility to a lack of leadership when games begin to slip from their favor.

“Everybody is looking around, ‘Are you going to end it? Are you going to take care of it for us? Are you going to plunge the dagger,” Murphy said before crediting the defense for making the final stop against the Steelers. “Granted, they broke up the last play, but it’s almost like everybody is looking around for somebody else to be the hero. A history of great first halves, great first drives, and then just bleeding out in the end.”

Failing to show a killer instinct, a commitment to deciding whether the offense or defense will decide the game and a penchant for playing all 48 minutes, Murphy likened Minnesota’s lack of identity to a weekly feng shui shuffling.

“It’s a week-to-week teardown project rebuild,” Murphy said. “It’d be like rearranging the future in your house every week… buying new stuff and repainting.”

Despite the Vikings’ many pain points, Murphy found one saving grace for the 2021 season.

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‘They are Not Quitting on Zimmer’

Minnesota had already lost its hopes of contending for a home playoff berth after a sluggish start to the season.

However, the Vikings have continued to fight for a playoff spot despite the mounting controversy and scrutiny on the outside.

“I give them credit,” Murphy said. “They are not quitting on Zimmer. They’re refusing to go quietly in the night. There’s something to be said for how they are able to close ranks and charge into the headwind without completely falling apart. They’re not building a credible case, but they’re keeping this flame just flickering a bit longer. At the very least, we can get through Christmas talking about something relevant.”

Zimmer’s Defense

In his Steelers postgame press conference on December 9, Zimmer described the polarity of his team over the past three months.

“That team that played in the first half for us was pretty darn good and could probably beat anybody,” he said. “That team that played in the second half probably could get beat by anybody.”

The under-.500 Vikings haven’t resembled a middling squad when you watch them. They’ve shown flashes of a contender and lowlights on-par with the league’s cellar dwellers.

As opposed to beating up on bad teams and getting blown out by better teams, the Vikings, with no throttle on thrilling finishes, find themselves in a heated battle week after week.

“We fought like crazy like we always do,” Zimmer said.

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Ann M Smith
Ann M Smith
6 months ago

Maybe they would be better if played 60 minutes instead of 48 in article

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