Kevin O’Connell – HC
What a start to life as an NFL head coach.
After leaving a positive impression throughout the offseason, Kevin O’Connell got his time with the Minnesota Vikings off to the best opening imaginable. Their dominant destruction of an NFC North rival immediately also had sportsbooks across the country turning them from also-rans into legitimate Super Bowl contenders in the blink of an eye.
While we’re going to need a bigger sample size before deciphering what Minnesota’s ceiling might be, O’Connell is a breath of fresh air after things became stagnant during Mike Zimmer’s final season and his arrival couldn’t have come at a better time.
O’Connell called the perfect game on offense, putting his primary playmakers in the right positions to thrive and allowing quarterback Kirk Cousins a certain degree of freedom to do what he does best.
Couple this with a dominant defensive outing against the two-time defending NFL MVP, and it’s not hard to see why people quickly altered their perceptions about the 2022 Vikings and what they might be able to accomplish.
The jubilant scenes within the locker room after the game were in keeping with what transpired on the field. Everyone is pulling in the same direction, benefitting substantially from O’Connell’s leadership and modern-thinking approach.
Minnesota’s long-suffering fanbase has been hurt before. But this time might just be different when it’s all said and done.