4 biggest takeaways from the Vikings Week 5 loss to the Seahawks
By Adam Patrick
Zimmer made the wrong call
After Sunday’s game, Mike Zimmer was asked if he thought about kicking a field goal to increase the Vikings lead to eight points with two minutes left in the game instead of trying to convert on a 4th-and-1. Unsurprisingly, Zimmer said that it wasn’t a close decision to not kick the field goal and that he didn’t regret the choice he made.
Minnesota’s head coach emphasized multiple times during his post-game press conference that he and the rest of his team were in Seattle to win and that’s why he had his offense try to seal the victory with a 4th-down conversion in the final quarter.
But Zimmer should have realized that this strategy probably would have been fine if the Vikings were facing pretty much any other team besides Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Wilson has proven in the recent past that he only needs a sliver of hope to lead Seattle to a comeback victory.
Since 2018, no other quarterback in the NFL has had more game-winning drives than Wilson (11).
Five of his last six game-winning drives have required the quarterback to drive the Seahawks at least 75 yards down the field, including Sunday night against Minnesota when Seattle drove 94 yards for the game-winning score.
Zimmer was obviously trying to prevent Wilson from getting the ball again. But kicking the field goal would have at least prevented the Seahawks from taking the lead if their quarterback led them on a touchdown drive.
In Sunday night’s situation, the win probability numbers and analytics-based decisions should have been pushed to the side. The simple threat of Wilson getting the ball back in his hands with any sort of chance to lead Seattle to a game-winning touchdown should have caused Zimmer to reconsider his decision to go for it on fourth down.