Even more quick thoughts from Minnesota’s loss to Detroit
Prevent defense inside the 15-yard line?: With the game on the line, Mike Zimmer decided to have his defense basically line up in a prevent formation to try and stop the Lions from scoring a touchdown. The problem was that Detroit was snapping that ball from Minnesota’s own 11-yard line.
Unsurprisingly, Lions quarterback Jared Goff didn’t have much trouble throwing the game-winning touchdown pass with the Vikings defense playing soft coverage and only rushing three defensive linemen.
Udoh is a backup and nothing more: Due to an injury to Christian Darrisaw, Minnesota decided to have Oli Udoh start at left tackle on Sunday. Udoh, who spent the majority of his time as an offensive tackle in college, didn’t really do much better at left tackle than he did lined up as a guard this season.
His blocking efforts weren’t terrible, but he drew two more penalties on Sunday for what felt like the 75th and 76th time this season. Maybe Udoh could develop into a starter later down the road, but right now, he’s just not ready for that much responsibility out on the field.
What’s next for the Vikings?: Some might feel that the immediate reaction to come out of this terrible loss would be to fire Zimmer. But that’s really not going to solve much at this point in the season and Minnesota doesn’t really have anyone who can step in as their interim head coach (maybe Andre Patterson?).
At the very least, the search for a new Vikings head coach needs to begin. And if the team’s decision-makers have already begun to look for someone, that search needs to be taken much more seriously.
Playoff hopes are technically still alive: As surprising as it might seem to some, Minnesota is still far from being out of the race for a spot in the NFC playoffs.
With five games left to go, the Vikings are only a game out of the final spot in the NFC after Sunday. So the postseason is still a possibility for Minnesota this year, but it’s hard to feel confident about the chances of it actually happening after losing to the Lions.