5 things Kevin O’Connell needs to improve in his second season with the Vikings

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Kevin O'Connell
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Kevin O'Connell /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Kevin O’Connell /

Play complimentary football

The Vikings were in a ton of close games this season and a big reason why was that they failed to play complimentary football. They never had a chance to break away in a game because one side of the ball would fail to do its job. This let inferior opponents hang around and forced Minnesota to squeak out wins late when it really never should’ve had to be that way.

For example, the defense would force a turnover deep in the other team’s territory. The Vikings’ offense would then get the ball and abruptly go three and out with a sack on the third-down play forcing the team to punt. Or maybe special teams would block a punt and get the ball downed at the one-yard line, but the offense would again fail to punch it in.

On the flip side of that, the offense would have a beautiful drive and easily put up seven. Instead of making a stop and forcing a punt giving the offense a chance to pad that lead, the defense would allow the other team to march right back, putting up seven of their own.

If the Vikings could’ve figured out a way to feed off each other instead of getting in each other’s way, the team would have actually had some blowout wins, or at least some comfortable wins that weren’t giving their fans ulcers by Sunday evening.

This is something O’Connell needs to figure out for year two, or another season with crazy finishes could be in store.