Mike Zimmer’s performance against the Lions was by far the most disappointing one of all the Vikings. How the team came out so flat against the Lions in a game they had to have to keep their playoff hopes alive is dumbfounding. The team wasn’t ready to play in the first half as the offense struggled and the defense couldn’t stop either of Detroit’s tight ends.
The second quarter was especially bad as the team allowed 20 points to the Lions. That was probably more than what they score in most games. Zimmer again had some horrible clock management and decision-making late in the half.
He decided to go for it on fourth down just inside Lions’ territory. This pretty much gave Detroit a free field goal as they quickly moved into range, and split the uprights with a few ticks left on the clock. That poor choice directly resulted in three costly points for the Lions.
Zimmer does deserve a little credit for adjusting and getting his team back on track in the second half. The defense shut down the Lions’ offense and Kirk Cousins was able to hit Justin Jefferson at will as the Purple stormed back to take the lead.
Then Zimmer made the decision that could seal his fate as the Vikings head coach. Instead of continuing to pressure Jared Goff which proved to be working, he decided to play an ultra prevent defense that allowed the Lions to easily move down the field and into the red zone with only a few ticks left on the clock.
He called a time-out, but his cornerback still gave his man eight yards of cushion in the endzone and the Lions scored a fairly easy game-sealing touchdown.
That decision was just another on the long list of poor decisions by the Vikings head coach this season. The Vikings were unprepared for this game, and while they still played well enough to win against a very bad team, the decisions of their head coach led to their defeat.