The Good Stuff from Week 17
1. The Vikings didn’t deserve to be in the playoffs
Maybe this is a nihilistic take and it will inspire you to flood the Arby’s drive-thru, but with everything considered, Minnesota didn’t deserve to be in the playoffs this year.
This was a team with multiple holes that were not addressed during the offseason. The loss of offensive guard Joe Berger was larger than what was initially thought and the injury luck that was seen defensively (with just two games missed in 2017) was taken as the norm.
These flaws (which included an overall ineptitude on special teams) sabotaged the Vikings’ season and honestly threw themselves out of the playoffs.
2. Mike Zimmer gets an extended vacation
Zimmer has rightfully been the target of extended criticism, but he is a human being. That fact was brought to the forefront when Zimmer’s daughter recently revealed in an instagram post that he’s lost 16 pounds this season trying to figure out what was wrong with his team.
Say what you want about the coach, but time off for Zimmer might give him the opportunity to take a deep breath and give him an extended look at what is wrong with his team.
3. The Vikings get a better draft pick
Nobody wants to hear this, but Minnesota now moves up in the draft order with a loss to the Bears.
With the race for offensive lineman in the draft becoming more intense, moving up in the order means that Minnesota is less likely to need to trade up to get the guy they want (unfortunately, this will probably mean the Vikings will get the cornerback or defensive lineman they’ve been craving all offseason long).
4. Matt Wile has punted well
The special teams shakeup will get no love from the fan base, but Wile has had a solid first season in Minnesota.
Wile came into Sunday’s game with a net average over 40 yards per matchup and ended up having five punts for an average of 51.4 yards against the Bears. It’s unknown whether Wile will return for 2019, but he certainly made an impression in the Vikings’ final game of the year.
5. Minnesota won’t be able to suffer a heartbreaking loss in the playoffs
As mentioned in the first point, the Vikings are not a playoff team. If Minnesota able to somehow get the win on Sunday after falling behind, their chances to pull off the upset in Chicago next week would have been slim.
We will get to this later, but this is a Minnesota team with multiple flaws and many of those were exposed during their loss to the Bears.