5 most disappointing Vikings in the blowout loss to the Packers in Week 17

(Photo by Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports) Greg Joseph
(Photo by Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports) Greg Joseph /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) Matt Daniels /

Matt Daniels – Special Teams Coordinator

The Vikings’ special teams were very strong early in the season. The kick and punt coverage was very tight, with teams hardly having any luck returning punts or kicks against Matt Daniels‘ unit. Things have definitely loosened up in recent weeks, and they took an unfortunate turn against the Packers.

Green Bay has an excellent returner in Keisean Nixon. The dude can fly, and he had been very close to taking some to the house multiple times this season. Minnesota had to be aware of that, and while they did try to kick it out of the end zone, Nixon fielded it about five yards back and took it out.

The Vikings’ coverage was sloppy, and soon it was Greg Joseph left as the only hope of stopping the score. Not surprisingly, he failed, and the Packers got six points and a huge momentum shift.

Daniels is a fiery coach, and while his unit has had back-to-back weeks with blocked punts, they have also been susceptible to big returns. Daniels has to use that intensity and charisma to light a fire under his players on kickoff and punt coverage, ensuring they get off their blocks, keep contain, and ultimately make the tackle.

Minnesota has plenty of other problems as the playoffs loom large, and can’t afford to have their kickoff coverage be one of them.