4 scapegoats if things go wrong for the Vikings in 2022 playoffs

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins and Kevin O'Connell
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins and Kevin O'Connell /
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Who could emerge as scapegoats if things go wrong for the Minnesota Vikings during the 2022 playoffs?

Playoff football has returned for the Minnesota Vikings, which is welcome after Mike Zimmer’s final two years with the franchise came with significant underachievement. Just how much noise Kevin O’Connell’s men can make during the postseason is debatable, with many in the national media tipping the New York Giants to cause an upset at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

This is asinine, considering the Vikings won 13 games in 2022. It wasn’t easy or pretty most of the time, but there’s a lot to be said for teams that can fight through adversity and win in various ways when push comes to shove.

Obviously, this is the Vikings, and anything can happen. What can go wrong normally does when the knockout stages begin, so it’ll be interesting to see how this group fares within a high-pressure situation this weekend.

If the Vikings do fall flat on their face at the first hurdle, who could emerge as potential playoff scapegoats?

Scapegoat No. 1

Minnesota Vikings
(Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports) Ed Donatell /

Ed Donatell – Defensive Coordinator

The Vikings’ defense has gone through some complications this season. Injuries haven’t helped, but the scheme implemented by defensive coordinator Ed Donatell just isn’t clicking as everyone hoped when he came into the franchise last spring.

New York has a creative offense that can put up points. Daniel Jones might not be the most consistent quarterback in the world, but he is mobile and has Saquon Barkley alongside him in the backfield, who can take it to the house at any given opportunity.

Minnesota’s defense cannot afford the same failings we’ve seen in big moments this season. Therefore, the pressure on Donatell is enormous and could define his long-term future.