Vikings called a ‘likely win’ for their newest 2021 opponent

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook /

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Chargers were officially added to the group of opponents the Minnesota Vikings will face during the 2021 season.

When the 2021 season kicks off, it will be the eighth for the Minnesota Vikings with Mike Zimmer as the team’s head coach.

During Zimmer’s tenure with the Vikings, the team has earned three trips to the playoffs, and two of these postseason appearances saw them make it to the divisional round or further. Minnesota has won 57.6 percent of their games since Zimmer was hired in 2014, which is the eighth-best winning percentage in the NFL during this time period.

In these last seven seasons, the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers have the league’s 21st-best winning percentage (45.5), they have one playoff appearance, and the franchise has fired a total of two head coaches. Despite this,’s Jason Reed believes the Chargers aren’t going to have any trouble getting a win over the Vikings next season.

Minnesota Vikings are far from an easy victory for the Los Angeles Chargers

It’s perfectly fine to be excited about the future of Los Angeles with Justin Herbert under center. But Minnesota is no slouch and for as talented as Herbert might be, he’s never gone up against a Mike Zimmer defense.

Interestingly enough, Reed thinks the Chargers will get a “likely win,” over the Vikings next season due to the performance of Minnesota’s defense in 2020.

That’s fair to bring that up and Reed does mention the additions of Dalvin Tomlinson, Xavier Woods, and Patrick Peterson. But he failed to include the fact that Danielle Hunter, Michael Pierce, and Anthony Barr will all be returning to the field for the Vikings next season.

Minnesota’s defense is going to look nothing like it did in 2020. Only two teams in the NFL suffered more impactful injuries to their defense than the Vikings last season, so the unit is due to make a massive turnaround in 2021.

Minnesota’s defensive performance last season was also extremely abnormal. While the Vikings gave up an average of 29.7 points per game in 2020, they allowed 19.3 points per matchup in their previous six years. Only the New England Patriots gave up fewer points than Minnesota from 2014 to 2019.

So do we think the performance of the Vikings defense last season is something that is going to continue into 2021? History says absolutely not.

In addition to his thoughts on the defense, Reed also thinks that Minnesota’s offense isn’t anything the Chargers should worry about next season.

Oh really? Did we forget that the Vikings have arguably the best running back (Dalvin Cook) and the best wide receiver duo in the NFL (Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen) to go with a quarterback in Kirk Cousins who just had the third-highest passer rating of any signal-caller during the final 10 weeks of the 2020 season?

Speaking of Jefferson, he’s definitely going to have a giant chip on his shoulder when he takes the field for this matchup since Herbert stole the Offensive Rookie of the Year award from him in 2020. The talented Minnesota receiver is going to make sure everyone knows that the award was given to the wrong person last season.

We haven’t even really mentioned the fact that Los Angeles has a rookie head coach in Brandon Staley.

Of course, Chargers fans would love for Staley to have early success similar to what Matt LeFleur has experienced with the Green Bay Packers in his first two years. But Staley’s head coaching career could just as easily resemble something closer to the struggles Zac Taylor has gone through during his first two seasons as the guy in charge of the Cincinnati Bengals.

This is all just fun banter and it’s very possible that the Chargers could end up with a win over the Vikings next season. But if Los Angeles does come away with a victory, Minnesota “likely” won’t be making it easy for them.