Mike Zimmer’s strength is his defense. If that area struggles in 2020 and becomes a weakness, that could be enough for the front office to decide that Zimmer’s time leading the Purple is over.
The Vikings’ defense hasn’t been as dominating the last few seasons as it has in the past. The run defense has softened and the team was allowing big plays through the air a season ago, as Xavier Rhodes was a shell of his former self and struggled to cover anyone.
The Vikings are taking a gamble with their defense this season. They are going with a very young and inexperienced group of cornerbacks. They also have sketchy depth at defensive end, and safety. If the corners struggle, and an injury occurs to a starting safety or defensive end this unit could be in trouble.
It’s also fair to wonder if teams are starting to figure out how to attack Mike Zimmer’s defense. A season ago, the Vikings gave up over 3,700 yards in the air and 1,700 on the ground. Those numbers are higher than usual and rank around the middle of the NFL. Zimmer needs to come up with some new creative blitz packages and coverage schemes. If he continues to roll out the same looks, teams will find new ways to attack and the numbers allowed, could increase even more.
If Mike Zimmer’s defense regresses in 2020 and becomes a weakness, that could be all it takes for management to decide to make a change.