After an ugly 40-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the Minnesota Vikings may have created a case where Ed Donatell should no longer be with the team.
The Minnesota Vikings miraculous winning streak has come to an end. After winning an instant classic against the Buffalo Bills, the Vikings were massacred to the tune of 40-3 against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
While losing starting left tackle Christian Darrisaw and giving up an astronomical amount of pressure on Kirk Cousins didn’t help, there was hardly a case for Cousins and company to come back after the defense would seemingly get run through on every Dallas possession.
In the Vikings‘ two losses on the year, both have come at the expense of poor showings of the defense, which is being coached by the newly hired defensive coordinator Ed Donatell.
Donatell spent three years with the Denver Broncos and was originally set to join the Seahawks in a senior defensive role before Minnesota hired him to be their defensive coordinator.
Minnesota Vikings could fire Ed Donatell to prevent history from repeating itself
Deep into the 2018 season, the Vikings fired then-offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the middle of his first year with the franchise. DeFilippo was hired from the Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff, who had just beat Minnesota in the 2017 NFC Championship on their way to winning their first Super Bowl.
The Vikings attempted to revamp their offense with DeFilippo and Cousins during the 2018 offseason. But when there was more left to be seen, the team decided to go in another direction.
Minnesota could elect to do the same with Donatell, as the switch to the 3-4 defense has seemed to benefit their new signings like outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith, and it has even created a career resurgence for cornerback Patrick Peterson.
But the Vikings cannot risk blowout losses like they’ve experienced this season if they want to go deep in the 2022 playoffs, and Donatell could be the odd man out.
Minnesota assistant head coach Mike Pettine would likely replace Donatell as the team’s defensive coordinator. Pettine has found success in the past as the defensive coordinator for the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Green Bay Packers.
The backup plan is already in place if the Vikings want to move on, and after two ugly losses to a pair of NFC East teams this year, they may have more than enough of a reason to part with Donatell.