4 most disappointing Vikings in the Week 16 win over the Giants
By Nik Edlund
Kevin O’Connell – Head Coach
Kevin O’Connell had some questionable play calls and decisions in the first half of the game against the Indianapolis Colts, and a lot of those decisions resulted in the team falling behind by 33 points. It was assumed he’d be much crisper as a play caller against the Giants, but the whole rhythm of the offense seemed off.
O’Connell loves throwing the football, and that was evident against New York. Kirk Cousins dropped back 48 times despite getting shoddy protection from his offensive line. It didn’t seem to matter if the Vikings were in position to run time off the clock, O’Connell preferred to throw and put the running game on the back burner.
It wasn’t like Dalvin Cook was struggling. He averaged 4.6 yards per carry, and his counterpart Alexander Mattison was getting 4.3 yards a pop. O’Connell ignored that success and instead preferred putting the ball in the air.
O’Connell’s play-calling has been suspect the last couple of weeks, but his decisions as a head coach should also be scrutinized. There were a couple of times when O’Connell chose to be aggressive and go for it on fourth down instead of punting and pinning the Giants inside their own 20-yard line.
It’s not so much the fact that O’Connell is going for it, it’s the situation and then the play that’s called that are head-scratchers.
O’Connell is a rookie head coach who has gotten his team 12 wins so far, so it’s hard to be too critical. It does, however, seem like he’s in a bit of a funk, and the hope is that he works out of it in Week 17.